PayPal Goes to Japan…Without eBay

At a press event in Tokyo, online payment service PayPal announced it plans to enter the Japanese market…although it’s going to be making the move without parent company eBay. PayPal apparently plans to position itself as a good way for Japanese retailer to handle international sales—and with almost 90 million users and transaction processing in about two dozen currencies, PayPal might just have a shot.

PayPal was acquired by online auction giant eBay back in 2002…the same year eBay effectively pulled out of the Japanese market. Instead of competing directly, eBay struck a deal with Yahoo Japan that lets Japanese shoppers access eBay sales through the Yahoo Japan portal.

Instead of fueling its user base by handling transactions on eBay sales, PayPal plans to strike deals with individual Japanese retailers and merchants, primarily offering its services as a way to engage in transactions effectively with international customers. PayPal did not offer any guidance as to how much business it believes it can generate in Japan, saying only that it believes it can grow its Japanese business faster than the overall online consumer market in the country. Japan is typically ranked as the world’s second-largest online marketplace, with transactions this year expected to exceed $80 billion.

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