Competition in the mobile payments space continues to heat up as Japan's most popular smartphone messaging app enters the market. Line recently formalized a strategic partnership with CyberSource, an e-commerce payment company owned by Visa, to accelerate Line Pay's growth outside of Japan.
Line’s mobile messaging service has over 181 million active users globally, and is popular in Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Line Pay represents the next big challenge for the company. In January, Line also launched a taxi-hailing service in Japan called Line Taxi, which lets passengers pay for their rides using Line Pay. Payments within Line’s messaging app, such as the purchases of stickers – emoticons featuring cartoon characters that people can send to one another – can be handled by Line Pay. But Line wants to expand Line Pay far beyond the messaging app.