Japan-based Line Pay announced plans to launch a co-branded credit card with Visa, a move which expands the scope of its mobile wallet service and brings the brand closer to traditional banking services.

In a statement, Line Pay CEO Youngsu Ko said the launch would greatly improve its mobile commerce platform and it expected the move to drive a significant increase in users.

The company did not offer a specific date for release of the card, stating it would be available for release later this year. Alongside the card itself, Line Pay will introduce a reward scheme and a number of promotions to incentivise adoption and use of the credit service.

Line Pay already offers a branded prepaid card and is compatible with credit cards from other providers.

The upgrade to its offering in Japan, where parent company Line is one of the leading social media platforms, comes three months after the launch of rival service PayPay, a venture between conglomerate SoftBank, India-based m-commerce company Paytm and Yahoo Japan.

Adoption of mobile payments in Japan has been slow with SoftBank estimating 80 per cent of transactions were made in cash as of October 2018. However, the launch of PayPay together with expansion from Line Pay shows vendors are making a concerted effort to boost uptake.

In late 2018, Line announced it planned to boost its retail offering by partnering with WeChat Pay owner Tencent to allow merchants to accept mobile payments from Chinese tourists using the latter’s platform.