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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Japan’s Line looks beyond chat: Credit scores, AI-powered robot receptionist

Line is trying to move away from an advertising-reliant business model as its user growth plateaus, doubling down on financial services powered by artificial intelligence.

tech Updated: Jun 27, 2019 14:54 IST
Pavel Alpeyev
Pavel Alpeyev
Bloomberg
Line is adding user credit scores and an AI receptionist
Line is adding user credit scores and an AI receptionist (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
         

Line Corp. unveiled new services from credit scores to an AI-powered robot receptionist, as the operator of Japan’s dominant messaging platform seeks to expand beyond chat.

Line Score will rate users based on information they provide as well as their interaction with other services on the platform. That will determine interest rates and credit limits for a loan service available this summer, executives said Thursday.

The company is trying to move away from an advertising-reliant business model as its user growth plateaus, doubling down on financial services powered by artificial intelligence. The company last year raised 148 billion yen ($1.4 billion) in a convertible bond sale to help fund that expansion. Yet its shares are trading near their lowest since an initial public offering three years ago, pressured by the prospects of further losses.

“Line is no longer just a messenger,” co-Chief Executive Officer Shin Jung-ho told a briefing on Thursday. “We are well on our way to becoming the infrastructure to support our users in their daily lives 24 hours a day.”

First Published: Jun 27, 2019 14:54 IST

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