Japan’s Mercari to buy Origami in latest cashless payments consolidation

TOKYO (Reuters) – Fleamarket app operator Mercari Inc said on Thursday it would buy QR code payment app operator Origami for an undisclosed amount in the latest example of industry consolidation as cashless payments take off in Japan.

The acquisition by Mercari, which has its own cashless payments business, comes as SoftBank Group Corp has attracted users to its service, PayPay, through campaigns offering big discounts on purchases made through its app.

SoftBank’s domestic wireless business said last year it would merge Line Pay operator Line Corp with its internet subsidiary, leaving Mercari and other smaller contenders like Origami look increasingly underweight as, with government encouragement, consumers shift away from their reliance on cash.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Kim Coghill and Sam Holmes

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