Line scoops WebPay to boost mobile payment service

Messaging app Line is extending its mobile payment functionality after buying  Japanese startup WebPay for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of WebPay – which raised $1.5m a year ago – is hoped to augment Line Pay, which began rolling out to its 500m registered users in December last year.

Line Pay is currently restricted to buying digital goods from Line’s platform — such as stickers – but the new deal is hoped to widen its scope to other online sites and services.

WebPay offers a offers a Stripe-like service that facilitates payment on e-commerce sites, mobile apps and other web-based services.

The deal comes as messaging apps around the world scramble to unite their social services with payment options, and as Line attempts to redefine its payment offerings and compete with other tools such as Google Wallet and Snapchat’s peer-to-peer function.

“The company is highly praised both at home and abroad for its cutting-edge technology, as well as service which offers easy to integrate API, short review period (3 working days in the shortest), secure payment system that does not process, transfer and store card data at member stores,” Line said of WebPay.

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