Line Pay, via Twitter
Line Pay, via Twitter

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 travels.

“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 wallet.”

Commenting on his firm’s partnership with Visa, Youngsu Ko, CEO of Line Pay and Line’s Fintech Company, said:

“As we transition to a cashless society, Line Pay is focused on delivering added value to Line’s users around the world and business partners. With Visa’s global network and infrastructure, Line Pay users will be able to enjoy the advantages of that innovative, worldwide network.”

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 payments channels.