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Paypal launches operations in Japan

09 May 2012
Paypal launches operations in Japan
Paypal and Softbank are joining forces to launch an online transactions business in Japan.

The joint venture, Paypal Japan, between the eBay owned payment service and the mobile operator will see each company invest ¥1bn ($12.5m) into the project. Softbank Mobile director and senior vice-president Hiroaki Ktano will be the chief executive of the new company and both companies will put forward three directors.

The companies will also launch Paypal Here in the country, a service that uses card swiping attachments to turn smartphones into mobile credit card readers. The service has previously been introduced in the US, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.

“Our Softbank partnership and launch of Paypal Here will make it easier for millions of merchants in Japan to grow their businesses and for consumers to easily pay anytime, anywhere,” says eBay president and chief executive John Donahoe. “We believe shopping and paying should be easy.”

Paypal has more than 110 million active accounts across 190 markets in 25 currencies. Softbank, which owns Yahoo Japan, has 29 million mobile subscribers and a large distribution network including thousands of retail outlets and sales staff in the country.

“By taking advantage of our experience in the mobile phone business and mobile Internet innovation, the Softbank Group aims to promote the use of PayPal and PayPal Here in Japan and strives to enrich people's lives,” says Softbank chairman and chief executive Masayoshi Son.

Mastercard is also planning to launch its own mobile payments solution similar to Paypal Here. It is expected to be rolled out in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK in the third quarter of 2012.

David Hing, London

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