What you need to know
- Google may begin offering fintech services in Japan sometime next year.
- The company is said to be in negotiations to buy all the shares in a Tokyo-based cashless payments company called Pring.
- The deal could be worth around 30 billion yen ($270 million).
Google will soon be venturing into financial services in Japan, according to a report from Nikkei Asia. The publication claims the search giant is planning to acquire Japanese cashless payments company Pring for between $180 million and $270 million. Android Central has reached out to Google for a confirmation.
Pring is among the leading cashless payment service providers in Japan, with 50 banks and the Seven-Eleven convenience chain as its partners. It is used by over 400 Japanese corporations to reimburse their employees for expenses and making payments to small businesses. In addition to allowing users to make quick payments, the pring app also offers cash transfers and withdrawals.
While Google already operates its Google Pay mobile payments service in Japan, buying Pring will allow it to offer financial services on its own. However, it remains to be seen if Pring can help Google achieve significant market share in the country's cashless payments market. Despite efforts by the Japanese government to promote cashless payments, its share in retail transactions was less than 30% in 2020. Credit cards are currently the most popular cashless payment method in the country, followed by prepaid cards.
Google is expected to roll out banking services within Google Pay in the U.S. later this year, in partnership with Citigroup and eight other financial institutions. After the "Plex" banking feature rolls out, you'll be able to easily create a digital-only bank account from the best Android phones within minutes. Once your account has been set up, you will be able to send money to your friends and family from your new account through the Google Pay app. What's more, Plex accounts will have no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements.