Ambitious Japanese mobile payments joint venture PayPay launched a consumer app alongside a number of offers to boost uptake in the cash-reliant market.

The venture is a collaboration between India-based mobile wallet company Paytm, Yahoo Japan and multinational SoftBank, which also owns significant stakes in the other two companies.

After mounting speculation it was set to enter the mobile payments space in its home market of Japan, SoftBank announced it was working on PayPay in July.

At the time, the company said the service would become the leader in smartphone payments in the country. Its original statement also omitted Paytm from the ownership structure of the company, but said the India-based company would supply the underlying technology.

SoftBank estimates 80 per cent of transactions in Japan are still made in physical cash. This gives the service a large potential market, but also a significant education and marketing programme to embark on to sell the technology as well as the solution.

The launch of the app was announced on Paytm’s corporate blog, where the company said it would use QR codes as the primary transaction processing method. This will put the brand in-line with technology used by major providers in China and by Paytm itself in its home market of India.

Google Pay and Apple Pay, which are both available in Japan, use NFC chips instead.

As an opening offer, consumers downloading PayPay and validating with a Japanese mobile number will be given JPY500 ($4.43) of credit to spend. Fees for specific types of transactions for both merchants and consumers will be waived until September 2021.