Google Buys Japanese Payments Start-Up

Google is set to acquire pring, a Tokyo-based cashless payment and settlement startup company, for between US$180 million and US$270 million, Nikkei Asia reported. The move will give the IT giant a foothold in Japan’s growing financial services space.

Once the deal is completed, Google will offer FinTech services, including payments and transfers, across Japan by next year, mirroring similar offerings in the US and India, according to the report.

Google’s entry into Japan marks an important shift for the country, which has been largely resistant to cashless payments, the report stated. Users of the pring app can make payments, cash transfers, and withdrawals on their mobile devices and laptops.

Google’s move into fintech services in Japan is the latest example of tech companies using their strong online presence and vast databases to become one-stop shops for various services including finance and shopping.

Japanese consumers have been relatively slow to embrace cashless payments, which suggests that the market has plenty of room for expansion. The entry of Google will intensify competition in the sector, where other technology players have already seen opportunity.

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