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EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 2801 - May 10, 2012 - ISSN 1539-5065    2 of 5

PayPal Invests $12.5 Million in Joint Venture with Softbank in Japan

By Ina Steiner
May 10, 2012

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PayPal and Japanese firm Softbank will each kick in $12.5 million to establish a joint venture called PayPal Japan. Hiroaki Kitano, a senior vice president and director of Softbank Mobile Corp., will serve as the CEO of the new joint venture.

In a blog post on Wednesday, PayPal President David Marcus said the first thing the companies would do together is to distribute PayPal Here in Japan. PayPal Here is the Square-like credit card reader that attaches to a smartphone to allow owners to accept credit card payments.

PayPal Here has already launched in the U.S, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. "PayPal Here will enable millions of Japanese small businesses to grow their sales by accepting credit/debit cards and PayPal payments through a smartphone anytime, anywhere."

The PayPal Here card reader and merchant app for iPhone are both available now exclusively for select merchants in Japan and is expected to be made generally available in the next several weeks, at which time the Android version is also expected to be available.

The card reader will be sold through the Softbank Group's sales channels with a recommended retail price of 1200 yen. There are no account setup fees or monthly fees for PayPal Here and the merchant rate is priced at 5% per transaction in Japan.

Marcus said together with Softbank, PayPal could open up new commerce opportunities for the nearly 5 million small businesses in Japan.

"The partnership combines the strengths of both companies. We bring our global online and mobile payment products and 110 million active accounts in 190 markets and 25 currencies; as well as our 14 year experience of running a global payment network that conducts 6 million transactions a day. SOFTBANK adds their extensive local market knowledge, 29 million mobile subscribers and vast distribution network in Japan. By bringing together these global and local assets, the joint venture can provide the premier digital wallet for online, mobile and offline transactions to connect millions of Japanese consumers and merchants."

PayPal and Softbank will each be able to designate three directors of the joint venture for a total of six directors.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

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