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Japanese companies test new mobile payments service

Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Bank Ltd. have begun proof-of-concept testing for what they call pring, a wallet app for smartphones.

Pring Inc., a member of the Metaps Inc. group, is developing and providing the app.

The companies, along with WiL LLC, earlier this year signed a collaboration agreement on a new payment service in Japan. Through this collaboration, they jointly developed pring, and this proof-of-concept testing process will examine pring's ability to perform a variety of transactions using electronic money drawn from the user's bank account. 

Pring aims to provide users with an easy method of converting funds in a user's bank account into electronic money that can be sent and received via social media accounts or phone numbers, or used to make quick payments at participating locations via a QR code, in addition to other uses, according to a press release.

Before the end of the year, the companies will test pring's performance in such real-world applications. Employees in Mizuho Bank's head office will be the first to test pring's operability by using it to pay for items in the head office building's café and employee cafeterias. Functionality will subsequently undergo further testing by gradually expanding to more users and locations, according to the press release.