Japan’s multinational telecommunications and internet giant, SoftBank, is close to announce its new mobile digital payments service for Japan, that it will launch at the end of 2018. The expected payment service will launched in collaboration with its Indian portfolio startup PayTM, reported The Japan Times.
The upcoming digital payment service will make extensive use of artificial intelligence (AI) for mobile payments and other financial services, the report further said, citing people privy to the development. Moreover, it is also reported that dozens of Paytm employees are already working in Tokyo on getting the service up and running.
Softbank, which has so far invested about $1.4 billion in PayTM’s parent firm One97 Communications, owns the Japan’s No. 3 wireless carrier and aims to expand the payments system to add financial offerings such as lending, insurance and other services.
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Softbank founder Masayoshi Son, who has created the world’s largest technology investment fund — $100 billion Vision Fund, is moving into this crowded field as local banks and technology companies rush to stake their claims.
The reason of this new plan is that while big players like Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., with their digital payment services — Apple Pay & Samsung Pay, respectively, have not gained significant market share globally and local players like PayTM is limited to India only. So, there’s lot of vacuum and opportunity to create a global brand in digital payment services space. Softbank thus wants to claim this empty space of global leader in payment services.
SoftBank wants the Japanese program to give the company a launchpad to take the service global, as Son seeks to capture a share of the consumer trend away from using cash, reported the Japan Times.
For PayTM, Japan will be its first major international expansion, in terms of its service offering market. The Noida-based firm already has PayTM Labs in Canada, where it has an R&D team.