Tencent Holdings will team with Tokyo-based chat app operator Line to offer mobile payment services for small Japanese retailers looking to capitalize on the recent influx of Chinese tourists.
The partnership will vie for business with a rival service operated by Yahoo Japan and SoftBank Group, which recently announced a tie-up with Alibaba Group Holding. Both teams seek to leverage the massive user bases of their Chinese partners to expand their own coverage networks.
Line will lease terminals compatible with Tencent's WeChat Pay beginning around mid-December to small and midsize restaurants and stores that have yet to adopt Line's own Line Pay offering. The service with Tencent is scheduled to start next year.
The service would have a shopkeeper enter the amount due for a transaction into the terminal that generates a QR code. The customer then scans the code with a smartphone to pay via the service of either company. Processing fees will be waived through July 2021 for stores that introduce these terminals in an effort to promote broader use.
Line says it aims to improve efficiency as well as help small stores that have struggled to tap into the Chinese tourism boom. About 7.35 million Chinese people visited Japan last year, triple the number from three years earlier, Japanese government data shows.
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