TOKYO, June 27, 2019 – Merpay Inc. (“Merpay”), LINE Pay Corporation (“LINE Pay”), and NTT DOCOMO, INC. (“DOCOMO”) have signed a letter of intent for a business alliance to make cashless transactions more widely available. In addition, DOCOMO will join the Mobile Payment Alliance (“MoPA”), an alliance of merchant stores established by Merpay and LINE Pay, to further popularize cashless payments in Japan.
About the business alliance
Through this business alliance, the three companies will promote the introduction of their mobile payment services, Merpay, LINE Pay, and d Barai[TM], to stores and businesses. Each company plans to make their own app capable of handling QR code scanning and payments for the other two partners’ merchant-presented mode (MPM) code ※payment services. Businesses only need to set up a QR code from any one of the three services to begin accepting payments from users of all three, reducing both the burden of implementing a new system and enabling acquisition of many potential new customers. Users will also benefit from being able to use their chosen payment method at more stores.
*Payment method in which users scan the store’s QR code with their smartphone to pay for their purchase.
With DOCOMO joining MoPA, the companies anticipate that DOCOMO’s nationwide network of sales resources will further increase the number of merchants. Additionally, the three companies expect to mutually benefit from introducing the others’ payment services to current merchants of their own service.※ By bringing the three companies and their large userbases together, the companies expect the alliance to create an even more convenient experience for both consumers and merchants.
*Information on current Merpay and LINE Pay merchants will be provided separately.
About the Mobile Payment Alliance (MoPA)
As cashless transactions have become increasingly popular throughout Japan, the number of businesses entering the mobile payment market has created a situation described as “all out chaos.” The countless options offered by smartphone payment businesses in particular has placed a bigger burden on merchants and made operations more complicated, confusing not just consumers but also impeding the development of a cashless society. Merpay and LINE Pay made two announcements in March 2019 given this background: the formation of a business alliance to accelerate cashless services in Japan, and plans to set up a merchant alliance named the Mobile Payment Alliance (MoPA). While a tentative name at the time of the announcement, the name Mobile Payment Alliance has since become official, and a new logo conceived to symbolize the alliance’s aim of promoting cashless payments. Depicting four smartphones, the logo represents cooperation between smartphone payment providers in striving to create a cashless future.
The two companies have begun business cooperation between Merpay and LINE Pay, and are currently developing a feature that enables merchants to accept payments from users on both sides, so long as either the Merpay or LINE Pay merchant-presented mode (MPM) code payment service has been set up. In the future, Merpay and LINE Pay aim to expand the partnership by encouraging other payment service providers in favor of the alliance’s goals and purpose to join.
Initiatives so far
Merpay Inc. launched its mobile payment service Merpay in February 2019. Not only has Merpay been expanding its userbase since, but has also been driving its strategy of “openness” by forming neutral partnerships across different industries—all aimed at rapidly establishing a cashless society in Japan. To date, it has already signed letters of intent with Mitsui Sumitomo Card, KDDI, and JCB.
LINE Pay Corporation has been providing its digital wallet service LINE Pay to users in Japan and overseas since December 2014. In November 2018, the company teamed up with Chinese service WeChat Pay, Korean service NAVER Pay, and the LINE Pay services in Taiwan and Thailand, announced the formation of the LINE Pay Global Alliance to connect users with Japanese merchants. Under the alliance, the aim is to make LINE Pay into the number one domestic payment service for inbound tourists. Efforts to achieve the alliance’s concept both domestically and abroad have already begun in earnest, with this month seeing LINE Pay begin a service partnership with NAVER Pay, and forming a new partnership with Korean payment service Payco.
NTT DOCOMO, INC. released its mobile payment service “d Barai” in April 2018. Since then, it has been leveraging the advantages of its “d POINT” loyalty program to increase the number of merchants and expand its service lineup. From autumn 2019, the company plans to add a wallet feature (allowing users to send money) and a mini app which can access to merchant’s service without leaving the d Barai app.
About Merpay Inc.
Company name: Merpay Inc.
Head office: Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Naoki Aoyagi
Business: New financial-related businesses
Affiliated companies: Mercari Inc.
About LINE Pay Corporation
Company name: LINE Pay Corporation
Head office: Osaki Garden Tower 22F, 1-1-1 Nishi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Yongsu Ko, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer
Business: Issuance, sales, and management of e-money, other electronic monetary value, and advance payment methods, provision of digital payment systems, funds transfer business, sale and operation of LINE Official Account, operation of LINE Kakeibo, service development, and advertising agency
• Issuers of Prepaid Payment Instruments for Third-Party Business (Registration number: Director of Kanto Finance Bureau 00669, Registration date: October 1, 2014)
• Funds Transfer Service Providers (Registration number: Director of the Kanto Finance Bureau 00036, Registration date: October 1, 2014)
• Japan Payment Service Association (http://www.s-kessai.jp/ (Japanese only) / Admission date: August 6, 2014)
• Electronic Payment Service Provider (Registration number: Director of the Kanto Finance Bureau [Electronic Payment Service Provider] No. 10, Registration date: December 20, 2018)
About NTT DOCOMO, INC.
Company name: NTT DOCOMO, INC.
Head office: Sanno Park Tower, 2-11-1 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Kazuhiro Yoshizawa, President and Chief Executive Officer
Business: Communications business, smart life business, other businesses
*“d Barai” is a trademark of NTT DOCOMO, INC.