Line Pay, The Messaging App’s Cellular Funds Service, Makes Its Debut
Again in October, Line Company, which operates the messaging app, introduced plans for a cellular funds service. Now the function, referred to as Line Pay, is out there as an replace for many customers (although it’s nonetheless not obtainable in South Korea or China).
Line Corp says its messaging app presently has over one hundred seventy million month-to-month customers. Line Pay will permit them to make funds by means of the app at affiliated on-line and brick-and-mortar shops by registering their bank cards. Future plans embrace permitting Line customers to ship cash to at least one one other.
Line Corp is a Tokyo-based mostly subsidiary of Naver Corp., certainly one of South Korea’s largest Web corporations. The brand new cellular cost service is a key a part of its plan to broaden Line past its core income streams. These embrace a related video games platform, which Line derives most of its income from, in addition to official accounts run by manufacturers to succeed in clients, and the sale of stickers by means of its messaging app.
The corporate reported income of $192 million within the final quarter, which is 104.2 % larger than a yr in the past and represented a 17.7 % improve from the earlier quarter. Although it’s at present having fun with robust income progress, Line continues to compete with different common messaging apps, together with WeChat, KakaoTalk, and WhatsApp, and is looking for to diversify its providers.
Line Corp’s newest options, together with Line Pay, Line Wow, a meals supply service obtainable in Japan, Line Maps, Line Taxi, and an upcoming streaming music service are a part of an effort to show its messaging app from a communication device right into a service that encompasses virtually each side of its customers’ every day lives. In September, Line postponed its IPO to be able to give attention to rising its income and revenue.
Its rivals are additionally pursuing comparable methods. For instance, Daum Kakao, the South Korean Web big that operates KakaoTalk, lately KakaoPay, which is accessible for South Korean customers of the messaging app. Tencent’s WeChat additionally added cost options, together with one which lets customers pay their utility payments by way of the app.
Line’s entrance into the cellular funds area additionally comes at a time when messaging apps are coping with slowing progress in cellular gaming income. Tencent, for instance, lately issued a disappointing third-quarter earnings report due largely to slowing income from cellular gaming, which generates greater than half of its gross sales. The corporate had beforehand warned buyers that its expects the expansion of its cellular gaming income to plateau briefly because it provides extra titles and integrates e-commerce providers. Final week, Line made its second purge of titles on its gaming platform in six months, doubtless an effort to take away video games that have been both not getting sufficient consumer engagement or turning into dated. Line and Tencent lately made a joint $one hundred ten million funding in Korean developer four:33 Artistic Lab Video games Studio, as the 2 search to refresh their roster of video games and maintain customers engaged.
As the 2 corporations growing give attention to cellular funds and different providers present, nevertheless, messaging apps are keen to hunt out different sources of income past gaming and stickers.