SoftBank is set to launch mobile digital payments in Japan by the end of the year, collaborating with Indian wallet provider Paytm to develop the service, Bloomberg reported.
Although initially designed for the Japanese market, the online giant plans to export the service to other countries and eventually offer advanced financial services such as loans and insurance, the news website added.
SoftBank’s payment service will use its own AI technology and is being developed at a Toyko development lab in partnership with Paytm employees. Last year, SoftBank took a $1.4 billion stake in Paytm’s parent company One97.
Japan has proved a challenging market for companies launching digital and card payments, with cash still the primary method of making small purchases. A Straits Times report from April 2018, on the Tokyo New Economy Summit, estimated 80 per cent of transactions in Japan are still completed using cash.
Mobile wallet and payment players already operating in the market include social media giant Line and NTT Docomo. A number of other companies are also lining-up services including airline All Nippon Airways, China’s Alipay and a consortium of three of the country’s largest banks.