LINE Pay Corporation (Headquarters: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Youngsu Ko) and Merpay, Inc. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Naoki Aoyagi) have signed a letter of intent to enter a business alliance with the aim of promoting the realization of a cashless society supported by open partnerships. This alliance will allow mutual access to the merchants of both companies’ mobile payment services, LINE Pay and Merpay, and will drive the two companies’ merchant alliance, tentatively named “Mobile Payment Alliance”.
With the popularization of smartphones, businesses across various industries―from financial institutions to leading telecommunications carriers and IT firms―are all entering the mobile payments industry. While this trend has accelerated the transition to cashless payments, the reality is that having such an abundance of payment services complicates things for consumers and merchants, posing a hurdle for the realization of a cashless society in Japan.
Under these circumstances, LINE Pay Corporation and Merpay, Inc., which have been working together to plan an alliance strategy for multiple businesses, have decided to enter a business alliance with the aim of providing a truly user-friendly mobile payment service for merchants and users, striving to make a society of cashless payments a reality.
Initiatives So Far
LINE Pay Corporation has been providing its mobile money transfer and payment service, LINE Pay, to Japan and the world since December 2014. In November 2018, to stimulate in-store payments at domestic merchant stores, the company announced their vision for LINE Pay Global Alliance, which would bring together China’s WeChat Pay, Korea’s Naver Pay, as well as LINE Pay in Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia and connect users to merchants stores in Japan.
Merpay, Inc. launched its mobile payment service, Merpay, in February 2019. Since then, not only is Merpay expanding its user base, the company is also implementing neutral and open partnerships across industries to promote the rapid realization of a cashless society within Japan based on a strategy of “openness,” and has already signed letters of intent with Mitsui Sumitomo Card, KDDI, and JCB.
Terms of the Alliance
Under the terms of this business alliance, the two companies will allow mutual access to merchants* accepting either of the companies’ payment services, LINE Pay or Merpay, in early summer 2019, so that users will be able to pay with either service at eligible merchant stores.
*Mutual access will be granted for merchants with which either company has a direct contract.
As a result, by implementing either LINE Pay or Merpay, businesses can expect usage from users of both payment services, and can enjoy the benefits of an increased potential user base at lower installation costs.
This alliance between two existing payment services with large user bases is expected to bring a more convenient experience to both regular users and merchant stores.
In addition, to encourage other payment service businesses with shared goals and interests to join and expand the partnership, the two companies plan to establish a merchant alliance, tentatively named “Mobile Payment Alliance.” The expansion of this project to more businesses is expected to further contribute to the realization of a cashless society.