Date
12 December 2018
Tencent’s deal with LINE Corp will enable Chinese tourists in Japan to use WeChat Pay for their shopping and dining transactions in the country. Photos: Reuters, LINE Pay
Tencent’s deal with LINE Corp will enable Chinese tourists in Japan to use WeChat Pay for their shopping and dining transactions in the country. Photos: Reuters, LINE Pay

Tencent, LINE teaming up for Japan mobile payments: Nikkei

Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings will tie up with Japanese chat app operator LINE Corp for mobile payment services in Japan, the Nikkei Business Daily reported on Tuesday.

Starting next year, LINE will start offering mobile payment services with leased terminals compatible with Tencent’s WeChat Pay at small to mid-sized restaurants and stores in Japan, a move aimed at tapping into the Chinese tourist boom in the country, the paper said.

Under the facility, shopkeepers will enter the amount due for a transaction into a terminal, generating a QR code. The customer then scans with a smartphone to pay via Tencent or LINE service.

This will enable Chinese tourists to make their payments via WeChat Pay, the digital wallet linked to Tencent’s popular messaging app.

To help create a large user base, the processing fees will be waived through July 2021 for stores that introduce these payment terminals, according to the report.

Tencent’s Japan payments initiative comes a few months after its Chinese internet rival Alibaba made its own foray into the market.  

In September, Alibaba announced a tie-up through its financial technology arm, Ant Financial Services Group, with Japan’s SoftBank Group and Yahoo Japan.

Under the partnership, Alibaba-backed payment services Alipay will be compatible in the leased terminals offered by mobile payment PayPay launched by Yahoo and SoftBank.

Amazon, Rakuten and Japanese wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo, as well as banks, are all expected to flock into the burgeoning mobile payment services industry  in Japan.

LINE Corp has its own mobile payments platform LINE Pay. The firm has ramped up expansion efforts into financial services, raising about US$1.3 billion through convertible bonds in September to fund the expansion.

Launched in 2014, LINE Pay global annual transaction volume exceeded 450 billion yen in three years. The Japanese messaging app intends to aggressively boost the adoption of LINE Pay, with the aim of boosting the number of locations and merchants accepting the payments to one million across the country.

In June, LINE unveiled a three-year plan to accelerate the popularization of code payments. One of its initiatives is the launch of LINE Pay for Merchants app, which is specifically designed for QR-code payments on LINE Pay, targeting small and mid-sized merchants. Transaction surcharges will be waived for the first three years.

In the same month, LINE announced a partnership with Japanese credit card company JCB and its QuicPay contactless payment system, paving way for LINE Pay to be accepted at  approximately 720,000 QUICPay merchants across Japan.

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BN/RC

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