LINE and OWiN Sign Collaboration Agreement to Expand Mobile Payments in Japan
Connected car startup OWiN has entered a $10 million agreement with LINE Pay to design and manufacture a mobile point of sale (PoS) terminal, pictured below, for small and medium-sized businesses.
LINE Pay, a subsidiary of the Japan-based messaging platform LINE, is seeking to create a ‘cashless society’ that eliminates the need for paper currency or wallets. The new PoS terminal will support payment via QR codes, among other forms. The device generates a QR code that customers can scan, with their smartphone and LINE app, to pay for goods/services at participating merchants and transfer funds in real-time from their registered bank account.
Historically, retailers in Japan have been reluctant to accept card payments, with dedicated hardware costs and fees approaching upwards of 5%; hence, the majority of transactions today – nearly 80% – are settled in cash. To tackle these two challenges, LINE plans to distribute the aforementioned payment terminals to small to medium-sized businesses and has recently launched the LINE Pay Store app to offer 0% commissions for three years.
LINE Pay has also expressed interest in OWiN’s connected car solution. With OWiN’s technology, drivers can order food/drink have it delivered directly to their car (curbside) without the hassle of parking; meanwhile, retailers can time order preparation to coincide with real-time vehicle location. With OWiN’s solution, LINE Pay’s ‘cashless’ concept can be extended to various vehicle-related services, like refueling, parking, maintenance, car wash, and tolling.
The new mobile PoS terminal will be available in green and white, consistent with LINE’s brand colors. The terminal will feature a SIM card slot that supports 3G communication, a built-in 7,800 mAh battery, and a dedicated QR code display screen. The PoS terminals will be distributed to LINE Pay retailers in Japan and Taiwan starting in 2018.
“This will spark a new wave of consumption patterns in Japan and Taiwan based on the power of LINE Pay’s platform and OWiN’s technology,” says Mr. Sungchul Shin, CEO of OWiN. “Our collaboration will accelerate the commercialization of connected car commerce.”