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软银计划年底在日本推出支付业务

据知情人士透露,软银集团公司计划在2018年年底在日本正式推出移动数字支付服务。

据悉,本次软银集团将与印度创业公司Paytm进行合作,广泛使用人工智能进行移动支付和其他金融服务。有消息人士透露,目前共有数十名Paytm员工正在东京工作,以确保服务如期上市。

不过,目前SoftBank发言人Hiroe Kotera拒绝发表评论。 Paytm没有回复通过电子邮件发送的评论请求。

如今,日本各大银行和支付公司都在积极抢占移动支付市场。此前,日本最大的即时通讯服务公司Lin集团和跳蚤市场应用程序Mercari Inc.都先后推出了自己品牌的移动支付服务。而放眼国际,PayPal、蚂蚁金服、腾讯和Paytm也都已经获得不小的市场份额,而三星和苹果公司等科技巨头的努力则并没有得到很好的市场反馈。

据了解,软银集团本次是系统为自己创建一个启动平台,以便改变人们的消费致富模式,进而在未来从支付领域逐步拓展到贷款、保险和其他金融服务。

未来两年,日本将有数个监管条例生效,而这可能将加速该国数字支付产业的发展,同时吸引包括银行在内的各种行业机构的参与兴趣。

软银集团的愿景基金是全球最大的科技投资基金,规模高达近1000亿美元,曾先后投资过Uber、Grab、滴滴出行和Ola等多家成功的科技创企。

拥有Paytm品牌的One97 Communications Ltd去年从SoftBank筹集了14亿美元,作为回报,软银集团获得了对方近20%的股份。自2016年11月印度政府禁止一些货币面额来解决腐败问题以来,由Vijay Shekhar Sharma创立的Paytm公司的产品使用量激增。

SoftBank Group Corp. plans to announce within days that it will start a mobile digital payments service in Japan by the end of 2018 as billionaire founder Masayoshi Son seeks to expand in the sector, people familiar with the matter said.

The service, a collaboration with Indian startup Paytm, will make extensive use of artificial intelligence for mobile payments and other financial services, the people said, asking to not be identified as the plans are private. An announcement is imminent, they said. Dozens of Paytm employees are working in Tokyo on getting the service up and running, one of the people said.

Son, who created the world’s largest technology investment fund, is moving into a crowded field as local banks and technology companies stake their claims. Line Corp., Japan’s biggest instant-messaging service, and flea-market app Mercari Inc. have both been pushing into digital payments. Internationally, the sector has yet to see any global leader emerge. Paypal Holdings Inc., Ant Financial, Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Paytm have all become huge, but in limited geographies, while attempts by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. haven’t gained significant market share.

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, the people said. The Tokyo-based company, which owns the nation’s No. 3 wireless carrier, could expand the payments system to add financial services such as lending, insurance and other services, the people said.

Hiroe Kotera, a spokeswoman for SoftBank, declined to comment. Paytm didn’t respond to emailed requests for comment.

Recent regulatory changes in Japan that will come into effect in the next two years are expected to accelerate a shift to digital payments, already prompting huge interest from a variety of players including banks.

Son, through the near $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund and SoftBank itself, has been involved in hundreds of deals and has become the biggest investor in ride-hailing globally through stakes in Uber Technologies Inc., Singapore-based Grab, China’s Didi Chuxing and India’s Ola.

One97 Communications Ltd, which owns the Paytm brand, raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank last year in exchange for a 20 percent stake. The startup founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma has seen its usage surge since the Indian government banned some currency denominations in November 2016 to tackle corruption.

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