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Mizuho and Line ditch mobile bank plan

Mizuho and Line ditch mobile bank plan

Mizuho Financial and messaging app Line have scrapped plans to launch a mobile bank, citing investment and time constraints.

First announced in 2018 and originally slated to launch in fiscal 2020, the digital bank was designed to combine Mizuho's banking heritage with Line's millennial-friendly UX chops to reach a younger generation of customers.

The joint venture was to be squarely aimed at Line's 94 million-strong customer base.

However, according to Nikkei, the launch was delayed by technology issues and efforts to strengthen anti-money laundering efforts. Meanwhile, Mizuho was hit by a series of its own systems failures.

The delay also enabled rivals to get a jump on the venture, with one, Rakuten Bank, quickly snapping up 13 million customers.

In a statement, the partners now say: "Line and Mizuho FG have mutually reached the conclusion that additional time and investment would be required to provide a secure and convenient service that meets customers’ expectations and that at present, this would not be attainable in a timely manner."

The JV - which is 66.6% owned by Mizuho and 33.4% owned by Line - will now be dissolved.

However, the pair will continue working together on the already launched Line personal loan service.

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