The Japanese conglomerate SoftBank announced on Tuesday (May 11) that it is seeking an initial public offering (IPO) for its QR code payment app, PayPay.
According to Reuters, SoftBank could also list its subsidiary SB Payment Service. CEO Junichi Miyakawa made the announcement at an earnings briefing. “We want PayPay to IPO in the future so they will become independent. .. I don’t think that would be too far out,” he said.
As the report noted, SoftBank wants to convince investors that it can expand new business lines as the wireless market evolves. SoftBank offers financial services through PayPay and hopes to expand in Asia through the chat app service Line, which merged with SoftBank subsidiary Z Holdings earlier this year.
SoftBank has also invested a 23 percent stake in the data analytics department of Axiata Group in Malaysia, part of the firm’s “Beyond Japan” efforts. Additionally, SoftBank aims to focus in the long term on autonomous driving, having already announced work on a platform with Toyota in 2018.
As PYMNTS reported in March, SoftBank has said it intends to double its PayPay users in the next three to four years as part of a push for a cashless economy in a country where cash has traditionally been king. PayPay has already attracted 36 million users in its first three years, with the help of SoftBank’s sales network and rebates.
This is happening at a time when QR code payments are booming in popularity. Contactless payments have surged by 150 percent in the last two years, with QR code adoption increasing by 11 percent since the start of the pandemic.
According to a recent PYMNTS How We Will Pay Report, more than a third of consumers who prefer using QR code payments say they won’t complete a purchase if that option is not offered to them. The same report showed that customers who prefer using QR codes when they shop are among the most loyal customers.
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