Japanese chat app operator Line is set to launch an online grocery service in Thailand by the end of the year.
The service — Line Man Grocery — will allow customers to have food and other items delivered, said Phichet Rerkpreecha, the CEO of Line Thailand. In addition, the company is launching Line Shopping, a platform that connects buyers and sellers via chat.
The move comes as the company is aiming to expand its on-demand services in the country, taking on ride-hailing leaders Grab and Go-Jek. Line already has an app that delivers goods from convenience stores and other vendors, and this newest offering will allow it to compete against supermarkets and other brick-and-mortar retailers.
Line currently has 187 monthly active users, with 44 million in Thailand, which is around 60 percent of the population, according to the Nekkei Asian Review. The company has also introduced a taxi hailing and meal delivery service in Bangkok and three surrounding provinces, with plans to expand into other major cities such as Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai by next year.
In addition to its delivery expansion, the company announced last month that it was partnering with Visa to create new financial services experiences for consumers and merchants around the globe.
The two companies plan to collaborate in different areas, including giving Line’s users the ability to apply for a digital Visa card, and eventually other Visa cards, within the Line App. The companies will also roll out integrated loyalty programs and tailored offers.
As for merchants, users will be able to use Line Pay branded capabilities at Visa’s 54 million merchant locations worldwide. Merchants will also be able to see transactions in their Line Pay digital wallet. Line Pay and Visa will also work on ways for merchants to access Line Pay services and the Line Pay digital wallet.
“Line Pay is more than just a payment method. As we transition to a cashless society, Line Pay is focused on delivering added value to Line’s users around the world and business partners,” said Youngsu Ko, CEO of Line Pay and Line’s FinTech company, in the press release. “With Visa’s global network and infrastructure, Line Pay users will be able to enjoy the advantages of that innovative, worldwide network.”