After Starbucks announced launch of its prepaid card with a new loyalty program, messaging application Line has launched its prepaid debit card called the Line Pay Card at the brand’s Line Conference Tokyo 2016 occasion. The card has been developed in partnership with the credit card company JCB and is supported by a well-developed loyalty program along with Line’s app integration. This may indicate a new trend where core companies from retail and other consumer centric businesses with sizable consumer base are going to use open loop prepaid card as a strategy to boost sales and increase loyalty. This would indeed impart momentum to growth of prepaid cards across developed and emerging markets.
Currently, the card will be available to Line users across Japan which accounts for 68 million customer base. The Line Pay card can be used by people across 20 million merchant outlets around the globe and 9.6 million merchants within the country due to the affiliation of JCB with American Express. The card can be tied up with Line Pay application which was launched back in 2014 as a standalone mobile app for online and store purchases. It will be available in four designs showcasing the popular Line characters. The major advantages of the Line Pay card are it does not require any credit screening verifications, does not have age limits and no annual fee is charged for registration. The users will be able to put money in the card online and view the transactions performed through the Line app. In addition, money can be added in real time through the Lawson convenient store chain.
Interestingly, a brand new reward point system has also been formulated with the card. A 2% cash value on every purchase will be awarded and one point will be equivalent to one Japanese Yen. The process of merging the present Line Free Coins reward program is also on its way. This will enable the users to earn points through the main Line app. The brand announced that usage of the card for purchasing Line services such as mobile internet or viewing advertisements will benefit the users with 2 points per 100 Japanese Yen spent. The accumulated points could be used for purchases in Line Store and Line Friends online platform. If a user accumulates more than 1000 points, then it could be converted to Line Pay balance or real time cash. This could be used for sending money, withdrawing cash at selected bank accounts or can be used at Line affiliated stores.