Naver rolls out LINE Pay in Japan before S. Korea, China

December 16, 2014
(Yonhap)

(Yonhap)

By Kim Seung-yeon

SEOUL (Yonhap) — Naver Corp. South Korea’s top Internet portal operator, released Tuesday a mobile payment platform in Japan as part of efforts to diversify its business.

LINE Pay is now available for service in Japan and elsewhere in the world as an additional function attached to its existing global mobile messaging app LINE, the company said in a statement.

The payment service, however, will not operate in Korea and China due to “strategic reasons,” a spokeswoman for Seoul-based Naver headquarters said, without further elaborating.

It’s been widely speculated among market watchers that the Korean version of LINE Pay will soon be introduced on home turf as early as next year.

LINE Pay in Japan offers both money transfer and instant payment services, while the remittance tool won’t be serviced in other countries.

Line Corp., a subsidiary of Naver and the original developer of LINE under its former name NHN Japan, signed agreements with five global credit card companies including Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc.

LINE, the popular messaging service in Japan and other Asian markets, currently has about 560 million users worldwide, of which more than 150 million are counted as active users.

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