Messaging app Kakao Talk is as popular in South Korea as Line in Japan or WeChat in China. But Kakao Talk’s parent company still took a risk when it branched into financial services in 2017--would customers trust an app famous for its cute cartoons with their personal banking needs? So far, the answer has been a resounding yes. Kakao Bank, Kakao Talk’s sister app, attracted more than 300,000 customers in its first 24 hours. After just four days, the mobile-first bank had lent out KRW 260 billion ($232 million) and accepted KRW 275 billion ($245 million) in deposits. Several months later, Kakao Bank continued to beat expectations, with millions of customers pulled in by low interest rates on personal loans and low commission fees on international money transfers. U.S.-based messaging services, like Facebook-owned WhatsApp, may one day follow Kakao’s lead.