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Line Pay strives to stand out in crowded Japan e-payment market

Built-in forex service lets yen-less foreigners hit the ground running on visits

Smartphone payments may become a staple of electronic transactions in Japan.

TOKYO -- Line, the company behind a messaging application of the same name, is stepping up promotion of its Line Pay mobile platform to vendors across Japan, seeking to make the payment option available at some 1 million locations by around 2020.

Line Pay can currently be used at about 16,000 vendor sites including convenience stores. Tokyo-based Line seeks to significantly expand the network and has set its sights on restaurants, karaoke establishments, vending machines and other businesses.

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