Welcome to The Axis, your late look at payments news from around the world. Coverage includes the tie-up between Mercari and Line for payments in Japan. Mobile payments are on the rise in Malaysia, bus operator Lynxbus plans to roll out cashless payments in the United Kingdom and Telco M1 plans to help protect mobile phone users from eWallet theft in Singapore with the help of DISA.
Online marketplace Mercari and chat company Line have teamed up for mobile payments amid strong competition in the cashless payment space in Japan, Nikkei Asian Review reported. With the tie-up, users will be able to use quick response (QR) codes for payments at the affiliated stores of both companies. Mercari and Line have their own systems for cashless payments, as it stands, named Merpay and Line Pay. Beyond those firms, Rakuten and Yahoo Japan are said to have similar offerings. The report noted, however, that Japan is “one of the most heavily cash-dependent economies in the world.” The government is now aiming to double the rate of cashless payments by 2027 to 40 percent.
In Malaysia, mobile payments are on the rise as the country’s central bank also prepares to roll out a QR code for merchant payment acceptance, Xinhua reported. According to the annual report of the central bank, the report said, mobile payments skyrocketed from 1.2 million in 2017 to 23.7 million in 2018. At the same time, the average transaction value was roughly $5.84. And the number of non-bank eMoney issuers rose from 37 in 2017 to 47 last year. Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, the bank’s governor, said per the outlet, “We expect the mobile payment to continue to gain momentum with further acceleration in the migration to e-payments.”
And, in the United Kingdom, a bus operator in West Norfolk plans to roll out cashless payments, Lynn News reported. Lynxbus plans to bring card machines to its fleet that would accept Mastercard and Visa along with payment methods from Google and Apple. Lynxbus management said the move was made as many riders were not carrying cash: Lynx Commercial Manager Graham Smith said, according to the report, “People are regularly getting on the bus assuming we take card payments without any cash on them. We are finding less and less cash is being used.”
In Singapore, Telco M1 plans to help protect mobile phone users from eWallet theft via a warranty program with the help of DISA, The Straits Times reported. Through the plan, users of phones would be able to start a claim on the website of DISA for a maximum of the phone’s retail cost. DISA group Chief Executive Eddie Chng said, according to the report, that the compensation was set at that threshold because “most e-wallets do not maintain balances higher than $1,000 and we believe that the recommended retail price of the phone will cover a majority of e-wallet losses.”