To enter Japan’s online payments market is to embrace battle with a hydra. Outstrip one competitor, another one grows just as a quickly. Well-known players include the likes of PayPal Japan, GMO Payment Gateway, and Rakuten Checkout. Nipping on their heels is a host of fast-growing payment-focused businesses led by Spike from Metapsand Line Pay with nascent services like Pay.jp from Base (Japan’s version of Shopify) waiting in the wings. Nevertheless, Stripe, the online payments wunderkind of Silicon Valley, announced its invitation-only private beta today, with an eye to having a full launch by the end of the year.
Stripe may be making its way to the Singapore market, if certain reports from local entrepreneurs are accurate. The US-based company that provides web and mobile payment methods to online businesses has seemingly been testing the waters in the area, where competing service Braintree has already established a presence. Stripe has been making waves in the online payments field since going public in 2011 and has received funding from such heavyweights as Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.