Last week, Bango hosted a launch event at the UK Embassy in Tokyo to mark our new partnership with NTT Docomo. For anyone who missed it, on 29 August, in addition to announcing the acquisition of NTT Docomo’s global payments business, Bango also announced a new multi-year platform deal with NTT Docomo to provide payment integration services for its carrier billing and wallet business.
This launch event was the first live event to take place at the Embassy since Covid lockdowns started in 2020. It was a great occasion to bring together customers, colleagues and partners. We were joined by the NTT Docomo team from Tokyo, and by friends from Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Shopify, Tik Tok and others.
Marie-Claire Joyce, the Head of Trade and Investment at the UK Embassy in Japan, gave a keynote speech. She spoke about the long-standing commercial and cultural ties between Japan and the UK and what partnerships like this represent for the UK economy. Partnerships between companies from these countries tend to be long-term and the decision by NTT Docomo to trust its payments business to Bango illustrates the strong basis for trade between the countries.
Tsutomu Tahara of NTT Docomo explained that alongside the world-class technology Bango has developed, Bango’s understanding of how Japanese businesses like to build partnerships for the future was fundamentally important to NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest telecommunications company. NTT Docomo believes in the value of having a common, independent, market-wide payments platform to help their customers grow faster globally – a vision shared by Bango.
Bango co-founder and Executive Chair Ray Anderson described the close ties that have developed between Bango and Japan over 20 years. He explained that the name “Bango” comes from a Japanese word, and that meeting one of the designers of the Japanese i-mode mobile internet service in the year 1999 provided inspiration for founding Bango.
Winding the clock forward, CMO and co-founder Anil Malhotra talked about the hugely influential role Japan plays in showing the rest of the world the possibilities of mobile connectivity and commerce. Bango has spent many years doing business in Japan, learning from the market there and we have worked with NTT Docomo for many years enabling DCB payments for Amazon Japan.
Bango CEO Paul Larbey highlighted the mutual goals of Bango and NTT Docomo, which are to bring together the world’s online businesses with customers everywhere, to increase inclusion and to open-up choice in content and services. Partnering with Bango means merchants from all over the world can bring their products and services to a whole new customer base in Japan.
The celebration ended with a few words from Gerhard Fasol, Cambridge physicist and CEO of Tokyo-based Eurotechnology Japan, who led a toast to this “remarkable” transaction and business relationship between Bango and NTT Docomo.