The companies behind Japan mobile payments brands Line Pay and Merpay called on other providers to join a newly-founded alliance to help drive adoption of cashless transactions in the country.
Under the tentative name of The Mobile Payment Alliance and initially just comprising the two founders Line and Mercari, it will allow users of either service to pay for goods across both brands’ merchant footprints.
In a statement, the companies said the alliance had been formed to provide a “truly user-friendly mobile payment service for merchants and users, striving to make a society of cashless payments a reality.”
The partners added the agreement would enable retailers to provide access to both payment methods at a reduced cost.
Line and Mercari said others with “shared goals and interests” were invited to join the partnership.
Other mobile payment players operating in Japan include SoftBank venture PayPay, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Line Pay is run by one of Japan’s largest messaging companies, which announced it would pump JPY20 billion ($182 million) into the mobile payments business last month. Merpay began operations in mid-February and is the payment division of online marketplace service Mercari.
Although Japan was a relatively early adopter of mobile payment systems, the technology is still to gain mainstream usage. A report from WorldPay earlier this year suggested one of the central issues was consumer security fears.