How does Line Pay work

The mobile payment service Line Pay and its features

How does Line Pay work. Source:

PaySpace Magazine has decided to consider this new payment service, and whether it is worth using it.

The origin of Line Pay

Let’s start with the basic question: who is the developer of Line Pay? The creator of Line Pay is Line app.

Line is an application for smartphones and PCs, and basically, it is an instant messenger (text, audio/video calls, file transfers) of Korean origin. However, it was developed by NHN Japan, NHN Corp. Thus, it is now managed by a Japanese company called Line Corporation (a subsidiary of the South Korean company Naver Corporation). Basic functions are available free of charge, while most stickers and in-game items have to be paid for.

Originally it was released as an app for smartphones (for both Android and iOS) in June 2011. Then the service extended its service for BlackBerry (August 2012), Nokia Asha (March 2013), and Windows Phone (July 2013). There is also a version for PCs running on both Windows and Mac OS.

As of May 2013, the app had more than 150M downloads. As of April 2014, the number of users exceeded 400M.

Talking about similar applications, Line is one of the most financially successful (with reference to the revenue of $58M in the 1st quarter of 2013, and 132M in the 2nd quarter), offering users to buy “stickers” (which express different emotions) and in-game products in Line Games. In addition to chat, Line offers more than fifty applications, such as games, photo editors, etc. As of the end of 2017, Line and its additional applications were downloaded more than a billion times worldwide.

But what really distinguishes Line from other similar apps is the embedded social network with blogs and comments.


So, let’s list the major Line features:

  • The app allows you to make calls (and even video calls) 24/7 for free (international calls are also free).
  • Messages are delivered instantly. Line app has also embedded location services.
  • Extraordinary stickers will help you to express your emotions in a more accurate and interesting way. You can send pictures and voice messages as well.
  • Line is also available for PC.
  • The newsfeed will help you to tell your friends about all your events. You can text, embed photos, videos, stickers and, locations. And vice versa, you can follow the events of your friends.
  • Stickers for every taste: the app has quite a large number of stickers sets.

Okay, we’ve got that straightened out. Now it is time to talk about Line Pay.

What is Line Pay

According to Line, “Line Pay is a payment service that allows you to make purchases from Line Pay Merchants. You can also send money and split bills with your Line friends. You can make payments easily with your credit card without registering, and if you register for Line Cash (a Line Pay account), you can make payments with your balance, as well as request money and make requests to split bills.”

According to the plan of the Japanese government, Japan should shift from cash to cashless forms of money by 2020. Line Pay would play a big role in it, fulfilling the goals of the government.


Don’t worry about the registration of a credit card in Line Pay – you’ll have to tie your credit card to the service only once. What about payments? The transaction will be completed as soon as you enter your Line Pay password. What’s good about Line Pay is that it cooperates with global credit card brands. Moreover, Line Pay adheres to global and industry standards of compliance.
Line Pay complies with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) and ISO/IEC 27001, and is, therefore, a safe and reliable service.

Unlike other Line services, Line Pay is offered worldwide through the Line app.

Furthermore, Line launched another new service in 2016. The name of this new service is Line Pay Card, which is available for Japanese users only. This card couples with Line services, but it can be used in brick-and-mortar stores as a regular JCB debit card as well.

The pros

  1. It’s free. This feature is absolutely free. You will not have to pay if you want to apply or recharge the balance. Thus, if you have applied for, but don’t use this card much, you lose nothing.
  2. The process of applying is simple and straightforward. Getting this card is a really simple process. You’ll just have to complete your application, and a card will be sent straight to your mailbox.
  3. English language is available. Some processes (such as recharging, linking your bank, etc) have to be done in Japanese, but all other processes depend on the Line account language, which, in turn, depends on your phone settings. Therefore, you can use any language you want.
  4. Get Line points. Every transaction gives you Line points. There are several ways to use them. For example, you can top-up your Line Pay Card, or buy Line in-game stuff (as well as stickers).
  5. Send money to Line friends. It is pretty self-explanatory. You can send funds to your Line friends. There is only one condition – you have to verify your identity (which is quite simple).

The cons

  1. It is not widely accepted. This card is a JCB branded one. As we know, JCB is not so widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard. Of course, almost every Japanese website will accept this card. However, shopping at smaller/foreign merchants could be difficult, especially if we are talking about using it abroad.
  2. If you have topped up your card, it will be hard to take money out again. Everything’s in the name. In brief, you’ll have to connect your bank account and verify your identity if you want to get your funds back. On the other hand, it will be quite easy to transfer, but you’ll have to pay about ¥200 per transaction.
  3. You can top-up only rounded amounts. We’ve just discovered that the whole process of getting money back is not simple. Moreover, there are lots of ways to top-up a Line Pay Card. But here’s the thing – you can’t send less than ¥100. Therefore, shopping online, you should remember that there could be leftover money. And as we’ve mentioned before, it is not that easy to get that money back.


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