Mizuho and SoftBank to offer loans and stock trades via smartphone

TOKYO — Mizuho Financial Group will partner with SoftBank Group in the latest move in Japan to provide financial services to smartphone users, Nikkei has learned. The two companies, through the tech giant’s payment unit PayPay, will offer services including making personal loans using credit scores as well as stock trading.

The collaboration is expected to widen Mizuho’s customer base. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and SBI Holdings have also entered into a comprehensive partnership, another sign of active collaboration between banks and tech companies.

The personal financing aspect of the Mizuho-Softbank collaboration involves J.score, a service that evaluates a user’s creditworthiness. The artificial intelligence application scores credibility based on answers to questions including age, work experience and hobbies, among others. The interest rate is lowered if the score is high.

The system tends to provide lower interest rates to young users compared to conventional determinants and has attracted approximately 1.2 million subscribers so far. The two companies will focus on expanding financing to PayPay users.

They will also consider capitalizing on usage performance and other data for the payment service to increase the accuracy of credit scoring. As for stock trading, the two partners will allow securities service One Tap BUY to be paid for through PayPay.

Besides stock trading, the system will also offer the investment trust service of Asset Management One, a Mizuho Group unit. As smartphones become the main field of financial services for young people, more banks are eyeing such cross-industry alliances.

Besides the tie-up between SMFG and SBI, Japan’s MUFG Bank and Singapore-based multinational ride-sharing company Grab Holdings are also working together.

Global mobile finance is spearheaded by China’s Alibaba Group Holding, which has expanded its business under Alipay. Competition to increase users has intensified recently as service quality increases with more users and data.

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