Mobile Payments

Japanese Smartphone Users Warming Up To Digital Payments

Worries over security concerns have prevented digital payments from taking off in Japan, but that is starting to change with Japanese smartphone owners indicating interest in mobile payments.

According to a report, a survey of smartphone users in Japan conducted in October by Hakuhodo, a Japanese advertising firm, revealed that greater than 31 percent of respondents wanted to consolidate their different payment functions on their mobile devices. That percentage was 41.3 percent among smartphone users in Japan that were male. The report noted that consolidating payment tools has been around for more than 10 years in Japan via a technology standard dubbed “Osaifu-Keitai,” which the report said means “mobile wallet.” In Japan, consumers have been able to use their smartphones for public transit tickets and store their information like credit cards, loyalty cards and IDs. But it’s not only that recent research report that shows Japanese smartphone users are embracing the payment technology. A Deloitte survey conducted in July found that close to 50 percent of smartphone users in Japan have used mobile payments in stores.

However, in August, a study by Meiji Yasuda looking at payment methods of Japan’s internet users in physical stores found close to 70 percent of consumers across every age group used cash mainly when purchasing something. The study found that it was more than double the percentage of Japanese internet users who typically pay via a digital payment method. “This hesitant embrace of digital payments has come up in previous investigations of Japanese transaction habits,” according to the report. The report pointed to a study conducted in March that found that credit cards were the most preferred payment method chosen by 80.7 percent of the survey respondents. Other payment methods, such as cash on delivery, were also popular, beating out digital payment services, which were chosen by 6.9 percent of participants in the survey. The report noted that the lack of consumers in Japan using digital payments could be because consumers in Japan have real concerns about security.

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