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Line Pay Partners with Visa to Launch Credit Card

2019-02-11 10:56 Monday


Japan-based Line Pay announced plans to launch a co-branded credit card with Visa, a move which expands the scope of its mobile wallet service and brings the brand closer to traditional banking services.

Line Pay

Line is Japan's largest chat app with an estimated 50 million registered users. The cards will be released later this year and will allow Line Pay, the company's digital wallet service, to stretch beyond its existing merchant base. Users will now be eligible to pay at any retailer accepting Visa. Furthermore, Line Pay will introduce a reward scheme and a number of promotions to incentivize adoption and use of the credit service.

Line Pay CEO Youngsu Ko said the launch would greatly improve the company's mobile commerce platform and expects the move to drive a significant increase in users.

Adoption of mobile payments in Japan has been slow with SoftBank estimating that 80 per cent of transactions were made in cash as of October 2018. However, the launch of PayPay along with the expansion from Line Pay, demonstrates that vendors are making a concerted effort to promote mobile payment.

Japan's government is making a sustained push toward a cashless cashless society — particularly ahead of the 2020 Olympics — and Line, as the country's dominant chat app, may play a leading role.

In China, the use cash or cards is considered outdated, but digital payments face a struggle in most other markets.

Line wrapped up a deal with WeChat last November that allows users of the China-based chat app to make payment via Line Pay points of sale. Tencent's WeChat and Alipay from Alibaba have spent recent years developing a system that enables Chinese tourists to pay using the platform when overseas.

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