Japanese Messaging App Transitions into Payments

by Tristan Hugo-Webb 0

Following in the footsteps of other leading social mediagiants like Facebook and Twitter amongst others, Japanese instant messagingapplication, Line has announced that it will now enter the payments ecosystemby allowing customers to make online and in-store transactions.

With over 560 million registered users worldwide (althoughonly 170 million can be considered monthly active users), starting this winter,Line customers in Japan will be able to link their bank accounts and creditcards to the mobile application. Once linked, users will be able to load theirLine account and make purchases online and in-store at participating retailersthrough the service as well as participate in a person-to-person (P2P) paymentsystem.

According to Line, the iOS version of the service will tapApple’s TouchID as well as a password and for the Android counterpart, securitywill rely on a different type of two-factor authentication system.

With social media players increasingly looking for ways tomonitise their large user bases, it should not be surprising that popularinstant messaging service, Line has decided to enter payments given thepotential revenue generated from the move. While consumers in Japan may move toLine payments in droves, one can expect that moving forward Line will just beone of many social media applications around the world to be involved inpayments.


Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group

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