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Update: SoftBank, Yahoo tie up with Paytm to launch mobile payment services in Japan

Update: SoftBank Group and Yahoo Japan, in collaboration with Paytm, announced the launch of PayPay, a barcode-based digital payment service in Japan. The service, set to launch in the fall of this year, will leverage the strong user base of SoftBank and Yahoo Wallet with Paytm’s consumer-centric technology to build mobile payment systems, a statement from the company said.

The statement said that the application will help the Japanese government’s push to increase the usage of digital transactions in the country. According to the statement, currently, digital payment account to 20% of all transactions while the Japanese government aims to push that number to 40 per cent by 2025. With the launch of PayPay, Yahoo Japan will terminate  its “Wallet’s” function, the report said.

Original: SoftBank Group, in partnership with Paytm, is planning to launch a new mobile digital payments service in Japan by the end of year, reports Bloomberg. The service is expected to make extensive use of artificial intelligence for mobile payments and other financial services, the report said citing people who are aware of the development. The report also claims that dozens of Paytm employees are currently working in Tokyo on getting the service ready for launch, and that an announcement is likely to be made in a few days’ time.

SoftBank, which owns the nation’s No. 3 wireless carrier, is planning to start with a payments service before adding additional financial services in its kitty such as lending, insurance and other services, Bloomberg said. The service will be competing against Line, Japan’s biggest instant-messaging service, and flea-market app Mercari, both of which have been pushing into digital payments, reports said. Given that the digital payments service industry is yet to see any entity emerge as a truly global player, Masayoshi Son, the billionaire backer of the Tokyo-based company is keen to expand in the sector and give the company a launchpad in Japan before taking the service global, the report added. On the other hand, this move will mark as Paytm’s second international market. The company has a bill payments application in Canada.

Paytm’s recent moves

Earlier this month, Paytm launched a Forex service, for money exchange of 20 top international currencies on its platform. The development came shortly after the company announced that it has achieved an annual run rate of 5 billion transactions and $50 billion in Gross Transaction Value (GTV). Last month, Paytm Mall, the e-commerce arm of Paytm raised $200 million from SoftBank in a new round of funding. In June, Paytm’s parent firm One97 Communications Ltd acquired Delhi-based technology startup Cube26 for an undisclosed amount.

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