Alipay parent Ant Financial aims to establish a user base of 10 million within three years for a forthcoming Japanese mobile wallet service, Nikkei Asian Review said.
Rumours first emerged the company was eyeing a move into Japan in the South China Morning Post during April. Reports at the time said Ant Financial was set to partner with a local company, similar to its ventures in South Korea and Malaysia.
However, the company now looks set to develop its own app, which could be released in early 2018, Nikkei Asian Review reported. Consumers will initially be able to use the service in retailers already set-up to accept Alipay transactions from Chinese tourists.
Users of the new wallet will be able to pay for items processed in Yen in both Japan and China – tapping a potentially lucrative market of 2.5 million business people and tourists who visit mainland China from Japan every year.
While the company’s strategy for expansion in Europe and the US is aimed at inbound tourists from China, in Asia Ant Financial seems focused on forging local partnerships and standalone launches to maintain its growth rate.