Line broadens its payment service to more retailers


TAIPEI — Messaging app operator Line Corp. released on Wednesday an initial list of Taiwanese stores at which Line Pay can be used, extending the company’s mobile payment service to one of its top markets. The Line Pay digital wallet, which has a maximum balance of NT$100,000 (US$3,070), can pay for purchases starting Wednesday in nearly 30 local stores — mostly online merchants such as ET Mall and digital music service KKBOX, Line said in a statement.

The Japanese messaging app operator said in February this year that it will launch a taxi payment service in Taiwan this summer, enabling users to pay taxi fares with the Line Pay money transfer and payment service that is connected to a virtual account.

Line’s digital wallet service in Taiwan will compete head-to-head against the services of Pi Mobile Technology Inc., a mobile payment arm of Taiwanese Web portal PChome Online Inc., and a mobile payment app run by group purchasing website Gomaji.

Taiwan is Line’s third-largest market in the world with around 17 million users, behind only Japan and Thailand.

Research firm IDC has forecast that Taiwan’s mobile payment market will handle NT$89 billion in transactions in 2015, which would represent an increase of 42 percent from last year.