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Google to buy Japan payments firm Pring


Alphabet’s Google has agreed to buy payments business Pring from backers including fintech firm Metaps Inc. as the U.S. tech giant pushes into Japan’s rapidly growing market for cashless services.

The startup’s three top shareholders – Metaps, software company Miroku Jyoho Service Co Ltd and Nippon Gas Co  – announced on Tuesday they would sell their combined 87% holding in Pring to Google.

Metaps said it is selling its 45% stake for 4.9 billion yen ($44 million).

Google has operated its smartphone payments business – now called Google Pay – in Japan since 2016. Tech companies such as SoftBank Group Corp and Rakuten Group Inc as well as financial firms are encouraging Japanese consumers to move away from a deep-seated preference for cash.

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