Google is reportedly in talks to acquire pring, a Japan-based cashless payment startup, between JPY 20 billion ($ 187.3 million) and JPY 30 billion ($ 281 million), according Nike Asia.
The acquisition will give Google access to Pring’s vast network of affiliates, which includes 50 national banks and large companies such as 7-Eleven. The tech giant hopes to use pring to launch privately owned financial services in the country.
Pring can help Google go deeper into Japan’s cashless payment market.
- Japan has significant cash-strapped growth potential that Google can take advantage of: In 2020, cash accounted for more than 50% of all transactions in the country, in contrast to neighboring countries such as South Korea, where it accounted for 34%, per McKinsey. But Japanese consumers have warmed to cashless payments because of it pandemic and government initiatives which encouraged their use, with the aim of expanding the cash over the next four years. Working with a local player could help Google move the market further at an opportune time and capture market share before it matures.
- Google may use the pring affiliate network to extend its acceptance of Google Pay. The number of mobile payment users in Japan is projected to reach 27 million this year, up from 24.8 million in 2020, per Insider Intelligence Forecasts. Google can take advantage of this development and use pring’s existing partners to make its payment product available in more locations across the country, helping it compete with local players such as Payment, which has a strong market presence.
Google has expanded into financial services: In the US and other markets, it is started The updated Google Pay app, which features solutions such as cash management tools, banking and retail privileges – may be looking to replicate some of these services in Japan. Google may also try new financial solutions in Japan that it can offer in other markets – something that has been done in India – as it moves beyond payments.
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