28-Jun-18, Nikkei Asian Reveiw

Japanese chat app operator Line has unveiled a new service aimed at spreading mobile payment across Japan, in the most potent challenge yet by a Japanese operator to the dominant Chinese mobile payment platform, Alipay.

Japans Line Pay throws down gauntlet to Alipay (c) Keiichiro Sato Nikkei Asian Review

Image: Keiichiro Sato / Nikkei Asian Review

The move is an ambitious attempt to break Japanese people's habit of using cash for every transaction. Cashless transactions account for only 18% of personal expenditure in Japan, compared with 45% in the US and 60% in China.

"We want to dramatically change the payment service in Japan," said Line Pay chief operating officer Hisahiro Chofuku at an event announcing Line's business strategies.

As with Alipay, users of the new service scan quick response or QR codes with their smartphones in order to make payments.

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