The worldwide digital payment market is estimated to cross USD 10 trillion in 2025, representing a 40% increase in two years. Innovative cashless payment mechanisms such as mobile wallets, peer-to-peer (P2P) mobile payments, real-time payments, and cryptocurrencies are fast evolving. Many payment technology companies cooperate with traditional financial institutions to meet the digital age’s newest consumer and merchant preferences.

Netstar’s’ payment services are now being used in over 340,000 merchant locations.

Despite the fact that many fintech solution providers offer novel offerings in the market, streamlining digital payment functions has always been a challenge. Netstars has been a pioneer in simplifying payment alternatives for digital payment merchant-related services and organizations by unifying cashless transactions and DX solutions, such as payment gateways with low contracting and operational burdens. Tsuyoshi Ri, President of Netstars, was with the CEOViews team to share details on how they are redefining the way payments are made in the APAC region.

Netstars was founded in the year 2009 by Tsuyoshi Ri, who currently serves as President of the organization. After two years of its incorporation, other founders, Yoshida and Wang, joined. It was in 2015, the company started payment gateway services. It’s been over seven years of its operation, and it has become the largest payment gateway service provider in the country. They are also the first company to introduce QR code-based payment in Japan. After establishing themselves as a leader in Japan, they are now expanding their business in Qatar and Mongolia.

Main offerings

Netstars has two main services. The first one is the payment gateway that currently has around 30 issuers signed up, not just from Japan but from Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. The second key business is DX Solutions. They can provide a reservation, brochure, membership, ECE wallet, take-out table, robot lottery service, etc. Their platforms connect businesses with different kinds of cashless methods. Japan currently has a ratio of 70:30 cash to cashless payment ratios, and QR code payment has seen a CAGR of 250%. However, the Netstars transaction volume has grown almost 400% on domestic QR code payments, showing strong growth in their payment operations and market dominance.

To promote easy transactions, Netstars flagship feature, StarPay, has been combining different ways of payment into a single multi-QR code payment gateway. The payment gateway connects payment channels for non-cash payment options such as QR codes and allows retailers to accept payments from clients via an e-wallet, super apps or banking application. StarPay has been connected with around 30 different e-wallets and banks from nations around the world, including Japan, China etc.

Differentiating factor

While Netstars enjoys a larger market share in Japan, other payment services operate in the same segment. Speaking about the competition they face as a company, Tsuyoshi Ri said, “While we are the first company to set up QR payments in the country, there are more and more companies following this suit. However, Netstars is positioned uniquely in that we provide both payment gateway service and the DX solution providing service so merchants can enjoy all the different types of services. Most of the competitors either have payment gateway only or DX solutions only. And that gives us a low churn rate. We are seeing a growth in numbers each month, breaking record transactions of the previous month.”

Netstar’s’ payment services are now being used in over 340,000 merchant locations. While most of these are restaurants, amusement parks, and logistics, there are tonnes of other merchants currently using their services. And this industry is very dynamic and prone to change every now and then. To counter this shift, they are planning to add more brands to their collaboration list.

Trends in the market

Speaking about the trend in the Fintech market, the government has promised to increase the cashless payment to 40% by 2025. This means Netstars is going to catch the tailwinds of this and grow further. The government has even promised to pay the salaries to govt. Officials through cashless payment channels. Their DX solutions are already popular with the local municipal commissions, and they have positive hope for the change this technology can bring to the economy. This has been even greater news for folks at Netstars, who is on a mission to capture more market share in Japan’s online payments industry.

Netstars has always incorporated hustle culture in its DNA. It started as a technology service company and experimented with various businesses.

Company culture

Netstars has always incorporated hustle culture in its DNA. It started as a technology service company and experimented with various businesses. They developed a game first and then a messaging service and various others. They kept pursuing a product that addressed the challenge of a large community, and later they struck their cords with payment services. They always face challenges with great spirit and embrace change.

After a successful run in their home country, Netstars is expanding its footprint in other countries. In the long term, they wish to help merchants in Japan and outside Japan. They target to help as many merchants as they can with the help of their DX solutions. They have already started to look to hire talented folks and hope to accomplish this mission soon.


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