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Japan’s DIY Online Marketplace Takes The Leap Into Payments

Japan’s underdog competitor to its e-commerce leader Shopify has only been around for about two years. But Base’s do-it-yourself mentality for small, independent sellers online has landed the firm 150,000 online shops in its network, in part thanks to its promise for sellers to set up their online marketplace for free in only a minute.

The underdog doesn’t seem so little anymore, and Base is taking advantage of its successes. Reports emerged Thursday (Feb. 5) that the online marketplace has acquired online payments service Pureca. The payments service provider has now been rebranded to Pay.jp, and all 150,000 of the merchants registered with Base can now offer their customers to pay with Pay.jp sometime this spring, in addition to the option of paying with a credit card or bank transfer.

Certain details of Base’s new payments venture remain unclear, however. Reports note that while 150,000 businesses have signed up with Base, a spokesperson for the company did not reveal how many of those businesses are actually functional and operating today. The company did note, however, that Base sees 10,000 new shops signing up with the site every month.

The company also hasn’t revealed exactly how much sellers will be charged to use Pay.jp. Base will collect fees for each transaction, but only revealed to Tech In Asia that its terms and rates for those fees will be competitive. Reports suggest that could mean processing fees will be charged up to a certain revenue limit.

With a new revenue stream and an instant market of tens of thousands of potential users of the new Pay.jp, Base is looking to launch ahead of the competition – including Shopify on the e-commerce side, and new payments rival Spike, which reported 40,000 users obtained in seven months.

As the competition heats up, it’s most likely a smart move for Base to capitalize on payments technology. The company is part of a market expected to become the world’s largest for e-commerce; a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit predicts Asia to take over as the largest online shopping market on the planet in 2015. Base’s latest move with Pay.jp means the company will land on both profiting sides of the Internet buying frenzy.

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