PayPal and Softbank bid to reboot Japanese JV

PayPal and Softbank bid to reboot Japanese JV

PayPal and SoftBank have moved to jump-start their Japanese venture with a new data-only phone package for merchants who sign up to PayPal Here.

Having spent years failing to gain a significant foothold in Japan, last year PayPal formed a joint venture with Internet company Softbank in a bid to finally crack the country's digital payments market.

The JV's first move was to start selling PayPal Here, the dongle and app combo that allows users to accept card payments with their mobile phones, in Softbank Mobile stores.

A year on, PayPal says that "thousands" of merchants have selected Here but admits that many more have been reluctant to sign up.

"Put simply, some of them just don't want to take payments on their personal mobile phone. No one wants to be caught deciding whether to take a payment or answer a phone call from a loved one," says the firm in a blog post.

To address this issue, SoftBank is introducing a data-only Android phone package costing around US17.50 a month. The package includes an Android phone, free with contract, as well as a PayPal Here card reader, stickers, a guide book and other marketing materials.

In addition the PayPal Here card reader will become effectively free thanks to a credit into a merchant's PayPal account after their first transaction. Previously, the reader cost around US$14.

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