Messaging platform player LINE Corporation is to base its future services around its LINE Pay offering, the company’s COO Takeshi Idezawa (pictured) revealed in an interview with Mobile World Live on the sidelines of the Apps World Europe event in London this week.
Of the new services introduced by the company at the beginning of October by the Japan-headquartered company, Idezawa said: “Payment is going to be the most important. Payment is going to be the hub for other services.”
He added that the Pay functionality will be the core around which the company scales other services.
The functionality will be introduced in Japan initially, including a transfer service to pay friends and family, along with a settlement service for credit card payments.
The transfer element will remain a Japan-only option, but there are plans to expand the settlement functionality to other markets in the future.
One service in which Pay is likely to play a significant role is e-commerce tool LINE Mall, which Idezawa said is growing strongly in Japan.
The company’s COO also said work is taking place to expand the functionality of LINE Business Connect, which integrates messaging functionality with corporate customer relationship management systems.
“Business Connect is something we’re working hard on,” he noted.
According to Idezawa, technology is being developed that will allow call centres to tap into this functionality via an API to contact customers with relevant information.
Other services announced alongside LINE Pay in October included LINE Taxi, which gives users the ability to book and pay for cab rides via the LINE app, and LINE Maps for Indoor, which specialises in navigating users through commercial buildings.
Newly-established on-demand e-commerce company LINE WOW was also announced, as well as a collaboration with Sony Music Entertainment and Avex Digital which aims to create a new subscription-based music streaming service.
LINE Corp reported a healthy year-on-year increase in revenue in the third quarter, as it continued to make progress outside of Asia. Revenue from the core LINE app totaled JPY20.9 billion ($192 million), a 104.2 per cent improvement compared to a year earlier.