The latest version of messaging app Line includes Line Pay, a mobile payment system designed to take on the might of Alipay, PayPal, and Apple Pay. Pre-announced earlier this year, the service is available to Line users in many countries. In addition to Line Pay, version 4.8.0 also includes several other new features, including a typing status alert, and a low-storage warning.
Initially, Line Pay only works with in-app purchases. Line sells a wide variety of stickers, themes, games, goods, and even additional camera features inside the app. Earlier this year, Line revealed it had sold more than 12 million sticker sets across 124 countries, showing the popularity of the cute additions to the app. It has big plans for Line Pay in the future, including the ability to send money to friends, pay for other online services, and eventually, pay for goods in stores.
To use the service, Line users must add a compatible American Express, Visa, Diner’s Club, or JCB card, which will be protected by a separate seven-character password. Line also says it will monitor payment accounts 24-hours a day for suspicious activity. Payments made using Line Pay on your phone will require authentication using the password, or using Touch ID on an iPhone. Any Line desktop users will need to use the password.
Line Pay’s launch comes soon after the announcement of Line Music, a subscription-based streaming music service where Line has partnered with Sony and Avex Digital. It seems logical Line Pay will be integrated into Line Music when it eventually launches.
The Line update also adds a typing status alert, showing chatters when the other person is typing a reply, but this feature won’t be available to all users at first. Also, a warning will pop up when device storage is getting low if you’re trying to download images. Line says the update is available now for Android and iOS, but not all Android smartphones will be compatible with Line Pay.