Google has agreed to buy payments business Pring from backers including fintech firm Metaps as the US tech giant pushes into Japan’s rapidly growing market for cashless services.
The startup’s three top shareholders – Metaps, software company Miroku Jyoho Service and Nippon Gas – announced on Tuesday they would sell their combined 87 per cent holding in Pring to Google.
Metaps said it is selling its 45 per cent stake for 4.9 billion yen (US$44 million).
Google has operated its smartphone payments business – now called Google Pay – in Japan since 2016. Tech companies such as SoftBank and Rakuten as well as financial firms are encouraging Japanese consumers to move away from a deep-seated preference for cash.