Line Pay goes global

  • AFP
  • Updated: Dec 05, 2014 10:59 IST

The popular messaging app already hosts online auctions, connects users with celebrities and offers online gaming and now it's adding mobile payments to its growing list of services.

Line Pay, which was initially launched as a new service only for Japanese users in October, is about to go live, globally.

Once a credit or debit card is linked to a user's Line account, they will be able to use the app to make purchases at both supporting physical and online stores.
Another feature, which will let Line users send money to each other and to split bills at restaurants, which is already live for Japanese users, will also be rolling out at a later date.

To boost security, users will need to set up a second password, separate from their Line account login details in order to protect their card details. However, if you've got an iPhone 5S or 6, the feature is integrated with the phone's fingerprint scanning touch ID.

The app currently has 560 million registered users -- of which the company claims 170 million are active monthly users. And although the app is monumentally popular in Asia -- 87 million active users are based in Japan, Thailand and Taiwan, it also currently has 25 million registered users in the US and 30 million registered users in India.

As the choice of social messaging apps on the market continues to grow, companies like Line and WhatsApp and Snapchat are taking greater steps to build their apps into networks that attract more users and keep them on the platform for longer. For instance, Snapchat now has a money transfer feature and Facebook is developing a similar function for Messenger.

But Line's new features don't stop at payments: it is currently getting ready to launch a food takeout delivery service and a taxi service that will debut in Japan in the coming months and that will integrate with Line Pay.

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