Soft Space and GMO-FG Forge Capital Alliance to Transform Japan’s US$650 Billion Cashless Payment Sector

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(Left) Kentaro Sugiyama, CEO of GMO-FG, (Right) Joel Tay Jin Ghee, CEO of Soft Space

Kuala Lumpur & Tokyo, 25th March 2024 – In a significant development poised to transform Japan’s cashless payment landscape, Soft Space, the world’s leading fintech-as-a-service (FaaS) company, has announced a capital alliance with its long-standing partner, GMO Financial Gate, Inc. (“GMO-FG”), one of Japan’s largest payment processing companies. This investment from GMO-FG comes before Soft Space’s planned Series C funding round, aimed at transitioning Japanese society to a cashless one. 

This capital alliance aims to make cashless payments ubiquitous across various industries, including transportation, hospitality, and the extensive food and beverage (F&B) sector. Leveraging GMO-FG’s extensive client network, Soft Space is poised to explore new opportunities in sectors traditionally reliant on cash transactions. With Japan being a prime destination for international tourists, this move towards cashless payments is anticipated to boost tourist spending by offering a more convenient transaction experience.

Joel Tay, CEO of Soft Space, stated enthusiastically, “I’m grateful for GMO-FG’s trust in us and excited to take our relationship to the next level. The synergy and mutual understanding we’ve developed through collaboration are invaluable. Since achieving the world’s first MPoC Solution Provider certification on February 27th, 2024, our SoftPOS solution became a force in enabling cashless societies around the world. Our ability to deploy rapidly from Malaysia to Japan and beyond showcases our agility and market readiness. By ensuring full certification, we’re poised to support our clients, both current and future, in entering a global SoftPOS market that is potentially worth USD1.04 billion in annual sales by 2030.

The capital alliance has already marked its first achievement with the live deployment of stera tap, Japan’s first MPoC-certified SoftPOS solution, demonstrating the successful synergy between technological innovation and GMO-FG’s payment network. stera is integral to Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company (“SMCC”)’s strategy to lead the charge in Japan’s cashless payment revolution.

Kentaro Sugiyama, CEO of GMO-FG, reflected on the partnership’s history, saying, “Since our collaboration began in 2018, Soft Space and GMO-FG have cultivated a strong relationship by integrating Soft Space’s SoftPOS services with GMO-FG’s payment network, with an initial focus on the transit segment. Soft Space’s solutions are designed for swift market adoption, and we’re proud to have launched stera tap as Japan’s first MPoC-certified SoftPOS solution under the SMCC initiative. This capital alliance is a step towards deepening our collaboration and expanding Japan’s face-to-face cashless payment market.”

As the volume of domestic cashless payments (valued at approximately US$650 billion as of 2020) continues to rise in Japan, this partnership is a critical step towards realising a fully cashless society. By simplifying cashless transactions and combining the strengths of both Soft Space and GMO-FG, this collaboration is poised to spearhead a financial revolution, enhancing the daily lives of millions across Japan.