Business / Corporate

Line Pay ¥30 billion campaign will allow users to send free ¥1,000 to all their friends

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

The messaging app giant Line Corp. said Thursday it will launch a ¥30 billion reward campaign next week to increase usage of its Line Pay service as the cashless war heats up among tech firms in Japan.

The company is rolling out what it claims is Line’s largest reward campaign, which runs between May 20 to 29. During the period, users can give a free ¥1,000 to their Line friends in the messaging app without incurring any costs.

A condition is that they must be Line Pay users and have their identification confirmed through designated processes. They can only send the ¥1,000 “Line Pay bonus” to the same user once but can effectively send it to as many friends as they want, the company said. Additionally, a user can only receive a bonus one time.

Line Pay is a digital payment service provided on Line’s messaging app platform, which allows users to pay with a QR code or bar code at stores. They can also send digital money to other users through Line.

With this campaign, Line aims to get more users to become active Line Pay users.

“The payment aspect has been a focus of cashless, and many providers have been running various programs. We are competing in that field, too,” said Jun Masuda, chief strategy and marketing officer at Line.

“At the same time, we are always thinking about how we can take advantage of Line (in the cashless movement): We believe it’s people’s connections within Line, and it can be well applied to money transfer.”

Line has about 80 million active users in Japan, of which about 32 million are registered Line Pay users, according to the firm.

Due to the government push to spread cashless payment, an increasing number of digital payment services have emerged recently. To attract consumers, they have been investing billions of yen.

PayPay Corp., a smartphone payment provider under SoftBank Corp. and Yahoo Japan Corp., has launched ¥10 billion campaigns in which shoppers receive 20 percent rebates when they shop with PayPay.

Masuda said ¥30 billion is an “appropriate” amount of investment to promote the service given that the public is in a celebratory mood with the new Reiwa Era.

The campaign, which effectively awards ¥1,000 each to 30 million people, is available only to Line users in Japan. It will end once the reward amount reaches ¥30 billion even if it comes in the middle of the campaign period.