Japanese messaging outfit Line moves into payments

Japanese messaging outfit Line moves into payments

Japanese messaging giant Line has become the latest social media player to enter the payments market, unveiling a service for both online and in-store transactions.

This winter Line, which claims 560 million registered users worldwide, will begin letting Japanese customers link the Line mobile app to bank accounts and credit cards.

Users will then be able top up their Line account and make purchases online and in-store at participating retailers through the service, as well as make person-to-person payments.

For security, the iOS version of the service will tap Apple's TouchID as well as a password. The Android app will have a different type of two-factor authentication system in place, according to local media reports.

The payments feature is just one of several new areas for Line, as it seeks to follow the path taken by China's WeChat and move beyond messaging. Line is also planning a music streaming service, an Uber-style cab hailing app, and a food delivery offering.

In the west, both Facebook and Twitter are also making moves into payments, testing buy buttons for instant purchases and prepping P2P money transfer features.

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