Japanese tech startup and messaging app maker Line announced on Tuesday (August 1) that it is rolling out a taxi-booking service in Thailand's capital of Bangkok. According to a news report in TechCrunch, the licensed service is slated to roll out before the end of 2017.
Line has been offering taxis in Japan for two years, and the new service is part of the company's move to expand its on-demand services platform dubbed "Line Man." Line Man includes food delivery, a messenger chat app, postal services, mobile payments, music and video streaming, as well of a host of other offerings. It's messenger platform is the leading chat app in Thailand.
The country, noted TechCrunch, is one of the Southeast Asian company’s biggest markets, making Thailand the perfect place to launch a taxi-booking app.
In a news statement, Line told TechCrunch its new service was created "in compliance with the Department of Land and Transport (DLT)’s regulations and Thai laws.” The service will create another way for Line to branch into new businesses and draw more users to its services.
At the end of May, Line disclosed that nearly half of its domestic chat app users are also using its payment app. According to a news report, the number of Japanese residents registered to use Line Pay stands at 30 million.
In 2014, Line added mobile payments to its platform and since has inked deals with 30 banks in Japan to enable instant transactions on its mobile network. Customers are also able to load the Line app with prepaid credit at convenience stores and via bank transfers. In March of last year, the company further expanded its offerings by rolling out a prepaid card that links with the Line app and provides loyalty points when used at certain retailers.
In a statement, the Southeast Asia-based tech startup company said it “will continue to pursue its vision of transforming the Line platform into a smart portal, giving users seamless access to an array of information, media and services. Line Pay fits into that vision by improving convenience and providing more opportunities to use ePayments with Line’s various lifestyle services.”