[Japan] LINE, LINE Pay, and NETSTARS Enter Into a Capital Alliance

2018.04.11 LINE Pay

· Collaborative partnership strengthened to enlist more LINE Pay merchants and carry out more all-encompassing initiatives
· Branded POS devices with a low implementation cost co-developed for the Japanese market
TOKYO – April 11, 2018 – LINE Corporation, LINE Pay Corporation*1 ("LINE Pay"), and NETSTARS CO., Ltd.*2 ("NETSTARS") announce that they have entered into a capital alliance.
*1: Subsidiary of LINE Corporation and operator of LINE Pay, a mobile remittance and payment service available through the LINE messaging app
*2: Developer of a multiple payment option gateway system
NETSTARS develops and distributes "StarPay devices" – all-in-one POS terminals that accept smartphone-based QR code and barcode payment methods offered by various service providers. StarPay devices are currently installed at more than 10,000 retailers across Japan.
StarPay devices first started accepting LINE Pay as a payment option on October 1, 2017, when NETSTARS and LINE Pay entered into a partnership with the goal to enroll and manage more merchants. The latest decision for LINE, LINE Pay, and NETSTARS to enter into a capital alliance was made based on the implementation record of LINE Pay code payments as a payment method at a significant number of retailers and establishments, including LOFT and AQUA CiTY ODAIBA. Through the capital alliance, the parties hope to further collaborate to enlist more LINE Pay merchants, and undertake even more comprehensive initiatives.
In addition to strengthening the parties' collaboration to increase the number of merchants that accept cash-free and wallet-free digital code payment methods, the main initiative to be executed through the capital alliance is installing custom-designed, "LINE Pay" StarPay devices at retailers as part of the efforts to raise awareness of the service among businesses and store owners, and promote the LINE Pay brand in stores. In hopes to enhance their in-store presence, future StarPay devices to be installed are expected to be a custom-designed version that shows the LINE Pay logo and reflects LINE Pay’s corporate color.
The stakeholders of the LINE Pay service will continue to strengthen their collaboration to promote the growth in the number of LINE Pay merchants, and accelerate efforts to establish a universal shopping environment in which consumers only require a smartphone to make purchases.
"StarPay devices" are POS devices that accept various Japanese and international code payment methods including LINE Pay. Not only is the cost to operate these devices significantly lower than that of credit card POS terminals*3, retailers can instantly begin accepting mobile payment methods after enlisting as a merchant just by installing the StarPay device in their stores. In addition to these reasons, StarPay devices have been popular among retailers for their ability to accept popular payment methods used by inbound tourists. While there are many different ways to adopt LINE Pay as a payment option according to each business or retailer's budget or needs, it is for their convenience and versatility that StarPay devices have been the popular choice among both merchants and users alike, and have been adopted by many businesses and shops so far.
*3: Suggested retail price: JPY 35,000 each (excluding tax)
Under LINE's corporate mission of Closing the Distance, LINE Pay strives to eliminate time, effort, fees, and other various inconveniences of cash transactions in hopes of bringing people, their money, and services closer together. LINE Pay also aims to lead the mobile Fintech world in anticipation of a cashless, walletless society.
Comment from Tsuyoshi Ri (Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer of NETSTARS CO., LTD.):
Ever since the establishment of our company, we at NETSTARS have been developing and providing fintech services in Japan as a recognized partner of Tencent and other leading Chinese IT companies. We are very pleased to enter into a capital alliance with LINE Pay Corporation, because it enables us to begin providing the mobile payment technology that we have built up over the years to the LINE Pay merchants. By working with LINE Pay Corporation, we hope to make LINE Pay even more fun and convenient to use as a payment option for LINE’s 73 million monthly active users, and contribute to the proliferation of Fintech services as well as establishment of a cashless society in Japan.
Comment from Yongsu Ko (Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer of LINE Pay Corporation):
Through its business, LINE Pay is striving to close the distance between people, money, and services by eliminating the current pain-points—time, effort, fees, and more—of circulating money. It is also aiming to lead the mobile Fintech world in anticipation of a cashless, walletless society. In working even more closely with NETSTARS CO., LTD. who develops and provides leading-edge Fintech payment devices and has considerable global experience operating a mobile payment service, we feel that we are taking a solid step towards achieving our goal of reaching one million merchants that accept LINE Pay code payments as a payment method within the year. The two companies will collaborate ever more fiercely to make LINE Pay's payment methods accepted everywhere.
LINE Corporation Overview
Company Name: LINE Corporation
Location of Head Office: JR Shinjuku Miraina Tower 23F, 4-1-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Takeshi Idezawa, Representative Director, President, and Chief Executive Officer
Established: September 4, 2000 (Changed trade name from NHN Japan Corporation to LINE Corporation on April 1, 2013)
Business: Provision and operation of the LINE messaging app and content and services made available on the LINE platform, in addition to other web service businesses and AI businesses
Capital: JPY 92.369 billion (as of December 31, 2017)
Fiscal year closing date: December 31
Company Name: NETSTARS CO., LTD.
Location of Head Office: Yaesu Dai-San Nagaoka Bldg. 10F, 3-22-11 Hatchobori, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Tsuyoshi Ri, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer
Capital: JPY 723.5 million
Established: February 12, 2009
Primary Business: Mobile payment service, multiple payment option gateway service, promotions for inbound tourists
LINE Pay Corporation Overview (as of December 11, 2017)
Company name: LINE Pay Corporation
Location of Head Office: JR Shinjuku Miraina Tower, 23F 4-1-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Yongsu Ko, Representative Director and Chief Executive Officer
Capital: JPY 2.950 billion
Established: May 9, 2014
Primary Business:
- Issuance, sales, and management of e-money, other electronic monetary value, and advance payment methods, provision of digital payment systems, and funds transfer
- Sales and operation of LINE@
- Service development
- Advertising agency
LINE Pay Corporation has become a registered member of the following organizations in association with the launch of its business:
- Issuers of Prepaid Payment Instruments for Third-Party Business (Registration number: Kanto Director General 00669, Registration date: October 1, 2014)
- Funds Transfer Service Providers (Registration number: Kanto Director General 00036, Registration date: October 1, 2014)
- Japan Payment Service Association (http://www.s-kessai.jp, Admission date: August 6, 2014)