In the fierce competition that is the Japan cashless payment wars, nothing is older than numbers reported less than two weeks ago. Yahoo! Japan presented PayPay metrics as part of its quarterly earnings release on August 2, 2019, only to be outdone by an exuberant Vijay Shekhar, Founder & CEO of Paytm, through his Twitter feed less than a week later, when he reported 10 million registered users and 1 million merchants.
As a reminder, PayPay is a joint venture between SoftBank, Yahoo! Japan and One97 Communications as the owner of Paytm, India’s leading payment app (see also our article “Indian payment tech conquering Japan”). PayPay had achieved four million registered users within its first four months, twice the rate that Merpay has recently reported. KDDI’s au Pay managed to keep pace, however, also reporting four million registered users within four months of launch (as of July 22, 2019). The juggernaut remains LINE Pay, with 36 million registered users as of the end of June. For LINE, that translates into 4.9 million monthly active users (MAU), less than 15% of those registered.
Yahoo! Japan also appears to be replacing the popular T Points with PayPay Bonus Lite. In fact, thee will be three new products under the PayPay brand: Money Lite, Bonus & Bonus Lite, with the latter rewards expiring within 60 days of grant. Hopefully, PayPay users can keep track of all of this!
Lastly, in a direct shot at Mercari, PayPay is launching a Flea Market during the second half of 2019. Yahoo! Auctions had been the dominant auction site in Japan since its launch in 1999, but Mercari has taken significant market share, especially in the casual seller segment focused on second hand items, with its slick smart phone app, when it launched in 2013. PayPay Flea Market aims to compete better in exactly that segment.
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