July 18, 2019 / 4:33 AM / a month ago

Wirecard deal with AUTO1 first fruit of SoftBank alliance

FRANKFURT, July 18 (Reuters) - German payments company Wirecard AG said on Thursday it was teaming up with car-dealing platform AUTO1 Group to offer digital financial services to consumers, in its first alliance with a company backed by Japan's SoftBank Group.

Wirecard struck an alliance in April with SoftBank, whose Vision Fund is behind ride-hailing companies such as Uber , Didi Chuxing, Grab and Ola. As part of the pact, SoftBank is also buying $1 billion in convertible bonds from Wirecard.

The investment by the world's biggest private technology company marked a vote of confidence after Wirecard faced allegations of fraud in a series of investigative reports by the Financial Times.

AUTO1, the Berlin-based car trading platform, will offer individual financial services via Wirecard's boon smartphone payments and banking app, the companies said in a joint statement.

Wirecard has told shareholders it sees profit potential of between 209 million euros and 273 million euros ($235-$307 million) from its SoftBank alliance over five years. The Japanese conglomerate had invested $460 million in AUTO1 last year.

$1 = 0.8899 euros Reporting by Douglas Busvine, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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