Paytm debuts in Japan with launch of PayPay, plans an entry into Europe

Paytm is on a major global expansion drive. After launching its wallet in Japan, sources said Paytm is planning to make an entry into Europe. However, things are at a nascent stage and plans of entering Europe might not kick off before next year. After gaining 300 million mobile wallet users in India, the firm has now expanded operations to Japan via PayPay Corporation, a joint venture established by SoftBank Corp and Yahoo Japan Corporation. 

In an announcement on Friday, the company said it will launch ‘PayPay’ smartphone payment services using barcodes (QR code) in the later part of 2018. PayPay Corporation will team up Paytm, which is a SoftBank Vision Fund portfolio company. The Japanese telecom giant will utilise Paytm’s technology and expertise in mobile payments. 

“In Japan, cash is still the mainstream payment methodology, with the current cashless payment ratio remaining at 20 per cent. Consequently, the Japanese government is taking measures to raise the cashless payment ratio to 40 per cent by 2025, with a long-term goal of 80 per cent — the highest level globally,” said PayPay. To aid these efforts, SoftBank and Yahoo Japan established PayPay Corporation in June 2018. 

Indications of entering Europe were given last year by Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of One97 Communications, when he launched in Canada. In an interview, Sharma had said he wants to build the Paytm app for the world and indicated he wanted to start operations in Japan and Europe. 

PayPay Corporation, SoftBank, Yahoo Japan and Paytm will expand the number of users by including the customer base of SoftBank and ‘Yahoo! Wallet’, which comprises approximately 40 million accounts. 

They will also deploy the platform using SoftBank’s sales know-how, and develop a tailored service offering leveraging Paytm’s technology. Their aim is for PayPay to become the top provider of smartphone payment services in terms of the number of users as well as affiliated stores. With the launch of PayPay, Yahoo Japan will terminate ‘Yahoo! Wallet’s’ current smartphone settlement function.  

Just like Paytm wallet, customers will over time be able to use services at a wide range of stores. Customers may select from two types of payment methods, namely credit cards and electronic money.