Paytm’s QR-based cashless payment arm PayPay launched in Japan in October 2018 in partnership with SoftBank and Yahoo Japan has acquired more active users than many popular incumbents, according to Paytm’s founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma. “Obviously way ahead of any other payments app,” Sharma tweeted citing a survey report on top apps and websites in 2020 in Japan by Tokyo-based marketing research firm Valuze. Among the top smartphone apps, Paytm’s PayPay was the fifth leading app in the country in terms of the number of users witnessing a 154.6 per cent year-on-year increase to 47.1 million users and “showing the highest growth rate among the top 30 apps,” the report said.
Data from SoftBank’s Q2 FY19 earnings presentation in November last year showed its cumulative registered number of users growing to 19 million in 13 months from its launch. Other cashless payment apps including D Pay ranked 17 saw a 140.6 per cent increase in users from last year while Au Pay ranked 28 grew 117.9 per cent in user base from 2019. “The number of PayPay users has increased 1.5 times from the previous year as apps become more commonplace and popular among senior citizens,” the survey noted.
Particularly in terms of the apps by age group, PayPay was ranked even higher at third position after Line and Yahoo, among apps used by people in their 60s. The users in this age group for PayPay increased 169 per cent year-on-year. For citizens in their 20s and 40s, PayPay was the eighth and seventh top app with YoY growth in user base at 156.4 per cent and 157.2 per cent respectively “confirming the widespread use of cashless payment apps in a wide range of age groups.”
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PayPay’s growth in Japan has come amid cash still being the major mode of payment. According to a Reuters report in November last year citing a survey by a central bank-affiliated research institute, the “cash is king” mentality remains entrenched in Japan with 84 per cent respondents still using paper money and coins for small purchases. However, there has been an increase in electronic payments such as smartphone apps and debit card payments to 18.5 per cent, on shopping trips where ¥1,000 or less is spent, up from 15.4 percent in the preceding year. The survey was conducted between June and July 2019. In 2021, PayPay will “continue to be established as platforms create new needs and markets,” the Valuze survey added.