SoftBank is reported to be developing a possible plan to create a global digital payments system that could take on PayPal, Apple Pay and China’s Alipay.
The investment and technology firm is led by Masayoshi Son, who the Times describes as a maverick, is known as one of the world’s most aggressive investors in tech. Softbank controls the £70bn Vision Fund which is a partnership with the Saudi government and they have bough a number of start-ups in the US in 2017. In the UK it acquired chip designer Arm Holdings for £24bn in 2016.
Now it’s looking at payments and online finances and is reportedly planning to create a global digital payments system that would aim to challenge established concerns such as PayPal and Apple Pay. Apparently, Softbank will lead a consortium backed by some of the world’s biggest banks.
Needless to say, getting a share the global finance industry is seen as a key strategic objective of many of the world’s technology giants and online payments, in particular, is attractive. Rumours suggest that Softbank is looking to acquire a large financial software business to power the new platform.
One target is thought to be the Swiss firm Temenos which provides software to the majority of the world’s big financial institutions. Shares in Temenos jumped 20% on the news.
The payments market definitely benefits from competion and innovation and this development looks interesting. But where it goes is still unknown. We’ll keep you posted.