Japan outpaces mot of the rest of the world when it comes to technology advancements, except when it comes to digital payments.
In fact, most Japanese consumers are still paying their monthly phone bills with cash, PaymentWeek reported. Because digital payment innovation is lacking in the country, service industries have been forced to “only accept hard currency,” the report said.
Here’s one look into why the country is behind: “David Gibson, Macquarie Tokyo analyst, pointed out that one of the main reasons Japan is slow to adopt mobile payments technology is due to fierce competition among providers and telecommunication companies.”
FeliCa Networks is the only payments provider service in the Japanese market, which was started 10 years ago by NTT DoCoMo and FeliCa. And “according to Sony, FeliCa offers over 100 mobile-related services, including payments, to roughly 60 million users.” That still hasn’t sparked the mobile payments industry.
“Due to the network’s dominating presence, analysts are wondering how users will respond to Apple Pay. With over 8.1 percent of Apple users based in Japan- coming in third next to U.S. and China, the offering of the tech giant’s payments services is highly anticipated and noteworthy,” Payment Week reported.