LINE pay and Visa team up to offer digital credit cards
LINE and Visa have announced plans to partner financial services for LINE users by allowing LINE’s 187 million global monthly active users to apply for a digital Visa card from within the LINE app. The companies plan to let users add any of their existing Visa cards to make payments from their mobile phones. The companies will also offer users integrated loyalty programs and tailored offers and new payment capabilities for users when they travel overseas. LINE Pay users will be able to use LINE Pay at Visa’s 54 million merchant locations worldwide, allowing them to use LINE Pay offers and services. They will also be able to see these transactions in their LINE Pay digital wallet, even where LINE Pay is not directly accepted.
The MRT line from Hua Lamphong Station to Tha Phra Station in Bangkok Yai will be officially launched on Mother’s Day, August 12, with test runs starting in July and full service is expected by September while the Hua Lamphong-Bang Kae extension, which is on the opposite side of the Tha Phra extension, will be ready for free trial services starting the same day and commercial services will start in September. The completion of these two extensions will see the Blue Line as a full loop and is expected to boost ridership to 800,000 passengers a day as it brings in commuters from Thonburi to inner Bangkok. Meanwhile the Asian Development Bank has signed a loan agreement with Northern Bangkok Monorail Co Ltd and Eastern Bangkok Monorail Co Ltd for construction cost of the long-delayed pink and yellow lines. The pink line will run from Khae Rai - Min Buri and accommodate passengers in northern Bangkok between Min Buri district and Nonthaburi Province while the Yellow Line will run from the Ratchada-Lat Phrao intersection southeast to the Samrong area of Samut Prakan province.
A hotel consultancy firm analyzed data from more than 11,200 accommodations offered by Airbnb and hotels in Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai and found that travelers to Thailand still preferred traditional hotel accommodation over that of the sharing website. They based this on numbers of reviews submitted, finding that in Bangkok hotels received an average of 664.2 reviews compared to 31.3 reviews for Airbnb rooms. Price plays a major factor as the firm found that found the average price per night for hotel accommodation to be lower than for Airbnb across all three markets, especially in Phuket, where the average price per night at a hotel is less than half the average price of Airbnb. Bangkok hotels are only slightly cheaper than Airbnb but found that comparing prices was difficult as in Bangkok Airbnb’s generally offer larger accommodation than hotels. The study also found that reviews translated to price increases for Airbnb rooms, one-point increase in customer review ratings could on average translate to a price increase of 13.8 percent in Chiang Mai, 16.4 percent in Bangkok and 23 percent in Phuket.