Messaging giant Line to launch mobile payment service in Japan

Japanese messaging app provider Line has introduced mobile payment and other new services that will be launched by the end of the year, report ZDNet Korea's Jaehwan Cho and Cho Mu-hyun.

The company, owned by Korean search giant Naver, held a press conference in Tokyo and showcased new services such as Line Pay, Line Wow, and Line Taxi.

Line
Image: Line

Line Pay, its new mobile payment service available for both online and offline stores in Japan, allows users to register their credit card in their Line account for payments. Exclusively for Japan, users can pay by charging cash at convenience stores or use their bank accounts with pre-deposited cash from sponsored banks for purchases.

It has a "Dutch Pay" function, in which two Line users can pay together for one item. Users can also transfer money to each other without using their bank account numbers.

It will be protected by secondary password and fingerprint authentication for Apple's iOS users with Touch ID.

Line Wow allows users to instantly access delivery services for registered food or products and services. Using Wow, they can order deliveries to their home immediately.

Line Taxi, a taxi calling app similar to Uber, allows people to call cabs and pay using Line Pay. Line currently has an agreement in place with local taxi company Nihon Kotu, but said it will expand partnerships globally.

It is currently unknown when the services will be launched in Korea, but if it does launch there, it will compete with Korean IT giant Daum Kakao's Kakao Pay, which launched last month.

Kakao Pay already has 1.2 million subscribers; its Kakao Pick service is similar to Line Wow. Unlike Line, where users can transfer money to each other, Kakao Pay allows users to send gift certificates.

It is to form a partnership with GS Shop, a Korean internet shopping mall company.

Naver, the parent company of Line, based in Seongnam, Korea, said it will expand Line Pay and other unveiled services globally going forward.

"We are unsure when we will launch these services in South Korea and other countries besides Japan, but we are focusing on developing them for global deployment," said a Naver spokesman.

As of October, Line passed 560 million users worldwide, and the company's monthly active users topped 170 million users last month.

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