US-based transaction settlement agency i-Escrow and Sumitomo Bank are forming a joint venture compay, i-Escrow Japan, to deliver secure payment processing to online consumer auction markets in Japan and Asia.
The partnership, which also includes local systems support firm Trans Cosmos, will be based in Tokyo and address Japan's growing call for security measures for auctions such as those offered by @nifty, the largest ISP in Japan, DeNA, which operates the popular Bidders site, Rakuten and eBay Japan. i-Escrow will serve as the escrow agent while Sumitomo Bank provides banking infrastructure and payment clearing services.
"Online auction fraud is hindering consumer acceptance of e-commerce in Japan," says Yoshifumi Nishikawa, president of Sumitomo Bank. "We will make consumers more comfortable buying and selling online by combining our secure payment clearing and funds transfer infrastructure with i-Escrow's experience curbing risk in auctions."
The creation of i-Escrow Japan follows a recent announcement of plans for i-Escrow Europe, a joint venture with Bertelsmann Financial Services, and broadens i-Escrow's international expansion to Asia.