Line Pay Corporation, the payments business of Japanese messaging app Line, has extended its partnership with global payments firm Visa to create new fintech solutions, including blockchain-based products. In particular, the two companies will use blockchain to deliver “new experiences” in the areas of business-to-business (B2B) and cross-border payments, as well as “alternative currency” transactions, they said on Thursday.
Alongside the blockchain-based fintech services, the
partnership with Visa will also include the launch of a pre-paid digital Visa
card, which users will be able to apply for directly from the Line app. The
virtual Visa card will allow users to use the app’s payments system even where
Line Pay isn’t accepted. Users will also be able to see these transactions in
the Line Pay digital wallet. Over time, they will be able to add any of their existing
Visa cards to the app.
The two companies will also collaborate to develop integrated
loyalty programs and tailored offers, as well as new payment capabilities for overseas
“The Visa co-brand program that currently serves 2.3 million
customers in Taiwan is one of Visa’s fastest-growing programs globally,” said
Chris Clark, Regional President, Asia Pacific, Visa. “We are excited to extend
this momentum to a range of new solutions in more markets around the world.”
In addition, Line Pay and Visa said they will explore “ways for
merchants to interact with the Line Pay service as well as Line Pay digital
Commenting on his firm’s partnership with Visa, Youngsu Ko,
CEO of Line Pay and Line’s Fintech Company, said:
Following on the lead of Chinese tech giant Alibaba and
Tencent, Line has
been expanding into the fintech business, establishing Line Financial
Corporation in early 2018 as a follow-up to Line Pay and to further reinforce
its position in financial services.
Line has also been involved in the cryptocurrency space, launching
its cryptocurrency exchange platform Bitbox as well as a new US$10
million token venture fund called Unblock Ventures last year.
Line Pay, which the group launched in 2014, is the operator
of the Line Pay digital wallet, a mobile payments service integrated into Line,
Japan’s most popular messaging app with 79 million monthly active
users. With 32 million domestic users, Line Pay is one of Japan’s largest