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December 27, 2022

On the web

Japanese Fintech Leader Smartpay First to Launch the Next Phase of Digital Consumer finance Through Open Banking

TechCrunch

“Japan-based fintech Smartpay has launched Smartpay Bank Direct, the country’s first digital consumer finance service that allows customers to pay for online installment purchases straight from their bank accounts. Smartpay Bank Direct emphasizes user security while delivering convenience for the consumer, through a network of 67 partner banks across Japan[1]. Smartpay is Japan’s first digital consumer finance company to utilize Japan’s open banking system.”

December 21, 2022

On the web

Japan Pushes Apple to Support Digital ID Card Function on iPhone

Biometric Update

“Japan wants its My Number cards on the iPhone and Tim Cook is hearing about it, according to Yahoo Japan. In a meeting with the Apple CEO, Fumido Kishida, the Prime Minister of Japan, pushed to have his country’s digital ID card installed on the iPhone. Android should accommodate My Number by May. But the best Cook would promise Kishida was that he would work on it. The Prime Minister’s request follows new services accessible via the 12-digit My Number digital ID card.”

October 28, 2022

On the web

Japanese Regulators Loosen Crypto Laws and Make it Easier to List Coins

Cointelegraph

“The Japan Virtual and Crypto Assets Exchange Association, the governing body that deals with crypto assets in Japan, released documents of plans to further ease crypto laws in the country.  According to a Bloomberg report, as early as December of this year, the association wants to implement a looser screening process for already authorized exchanges to list virtual coins. However, this would apply to tokens that are not new to the Japanese market. The regulators could abolish the lengthy pre-screening process altogether, even for coins new to the market, by March 2024. This scenario could also include tokens issued through initial coin or exchange offerings, according to comments by Genki Oda, the association’s vice president.”

September 21, 2022

On the web

How Japan is Moving Towards a Cashless Society with Digital Salary Payments

World Economic Forum

“The Japanese government is preparing to introduce a system for companies to pay salaries digitally – without going through bank accounts – by spring 2023. By promoting this system, which allows companies to transfer salaries to workers using smartphone payment apps, the government hopes to solve the complex issues facing foreign workers in Japan, expand the financial services market and deregulation, and promote growth. However, according to a survey of 247 companies conducted by Works Human Intelligence, a leading developer of integrated HR systems for corporate clients, less than 30% of companies are considering or will consider implementing digital salary payment. The survey found that system and operational costs and increased operational person-hours were the main barriers.”

September 6, 2022

On the web

JCB International Has Expanded its Existing Partnership with Concardis

IBS Intelligence

“JCB International Co., Ltd. , the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., has expanded its existing partnership with Concardis as part of the Nets/Nexi Group, one of Europe’s leading paytech providers, to enable JCB Contactless acceptance at several thousands of merchants in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Concardis and the entire Nets/Nexi Group and JCB share a common goal to make payments simple. Rollout has already begun with merchants with Concardis terminals in the travel and entertainment sectors such as hotels, shopping, and popular restaurants. This acceptance includes JCB Contactless. JCB Contactless enables JCB Cardmembers to perform secure and fast contactless payments simply by holding their JCB Card or JCB-Card-enabled smartphone or other devices over a point of sale (POS) terminal. JCB Contactless is based on the global chip standard ‘EMV(R),’ offering a higher level of security… JCB is accepted in 150 countries and regions globally, with about 39 million merchant partners and more than 140 million international Cardmembers…”

April 18, 2022

On the web

Uber Ties Up With Rakuten for Food-Delivery Payments in Japan

bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. will integrate Rakuten Group Inc. ’s payment services into its Uber Eats and later Uber mobility app in Japan, one of its key international markets. Rakuten, Japan’s homemade answer to Amazon.com Inc. , operates a broad range of e-commerce and fintech services and has a widely used Rakuten Points loyalty program. The integration with Uber Eats, which will roll out in stages by the end of this month, will allow Rakuten account holders to log in without a pre-existing Uber account and earn and spend their Rakuten Points or Rakuten Pay credit, the companies said Monday.”

On the wires

Stripe Launches Konbini and Furikomi, Deepening Investment in Japan

“Stripe, a financial infrastructure platform for businesses, today announced that it supports two important forms of payments in Japan: Furikomi, a highly popular bank transfer method, and Konbini, the ubiquitous convenience store payment option. Now through a single integration, businesses of all sizes can use Stripe’s platform to accept Furikomi and Konbini payments, in addition to credit and debit cards. The expansion further accelerates Stripe’s growth plans in Japan.”

November 16, 2021

On the wires

Smartpay Officially Launches the First All-in-one E-commerce Payment Solution and BNPL Service That Is Completely Free for Consumers

“Smartpay K.K. today announced the launch of its new “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) service, which combines an all-in-one payment experience and interest free payment solution, designed to solve Japanese consumer payment issues and improve merchant conversion rates.Built out of a passion for enabling Japanese merchants to succeed in e-commerce, Smartpay aims to remove the anxiety of shopping online for Japanese credit card users with the first completely free and secure, seamless, fully automated, online payment experience.”

June 15, 2021

On the web

SoftBank’s PayPay Surges Ahead in Japan’s Digital Payments Race

Reuters

“For six decades, shoppers at Mikawaya, a rice dealer in eastern Tokyo, paid in cash – until sales staff from payments app PayPay swept through the low-lying district, persuading the store to give their product a try. With customers clamouring to use the service and nearby stores signing up, PayPay’s offer of free installation and no handling fees was too good to refuse, the store’s owners say.”

May 19, 2021

On the wires

Adyen Expands Acquiring Capabilities to Japan Amid Growing Momentum for Cashless Payments

“ADYEN (AMS: ADYEN), the global payments platform of choice for many of the world’s leading companies, today announced the expansion of its acquiring capabilities to include Japan…This announcement extends Adyen’s local acquiring capabilities in Asia-Pacific, following launches in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, and is supported by demand from international and domestic merchants looking to better serve shoppers in Japan.”

April 15, 2021

On the wires

Netstars Raises JPY6.6 Billion From Investors Including KKR, SIG and LUN Partners | NETSTARS CO., LTD

“Netstars Co., Ltd. (“Netstars” or the “Company”), the operator of Japan’s largest QR code payment gateway, today announced the completion of a JPY6.6 billion funding round. The round, which was made through a combination of a capital infusion and the allotment of new shares, includes a JPY4 billion investment made from funds managed by global investment firm KKR. SIG and LUN Partners also participated in the round. Headquartered in Tokyo and led by CEO Tsuyoshi Ri, Netstars is a payments aggregator and a FinTech company. The Company operates StarPay, Japan’s leading payments aggregation solution which integrates a variety of payment providers into a single device or software platform, allowing for efficient point-of-sale processing for consumers across multiple payment apps.”

April 9, 2021

On the wires

October 7, 2020

On the wires

EMQ Launches High Value Cross-border Settlements in Japan

“EMQ, a global financial settlement network, announces today the launch of its high transaction value cross-border settlements in Japan, which enables global businesses to send a maximum of JPY30 million directly into local banks. This major enhancement further expands our global payment capabilities into Japan, empowering global businesses to capture new opportunities across the markets.”

October 6, 2020

On the web

Apple Pay and Express Transit Mode Now Support PASMO Transit Cards in Japan

Mac Rumors

“Japanese smart payment system PASMO today announced that it has launched support for Apple Pay , allowing users to pay for transit fares and other transactions using their iPhone or Apple Watch. Express Transit is also supported, which allows users to quickly pass through transit gates without having to wake or unlock their devices or authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID .”

August 24, 2020

On the web

Japan facing credit card number shortage as people stay home and shop

The Mainichi

“As more and more credit cards are being issued while people in Japan stay home and shop amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, issuing companies are running out of 16-digit combinations for card numbers. The shortage of numbers has emerged against the backdrop of a rise in credit card payments from consumers staying indoors amid the pandemic, as well as a sudden increase in the number of cards being issued due to the government’s introduction in October last year of a point reward system accompanying cashless transactions.”

August 6, 2020

On the web

Japan Banks Unveil Plan to Build Cheaper Money Transfer System

BNN

“Japan’s biggest banks said they will jointly build a cheaper money transfer network catering mainly to small transactions among individuals, a move that may spur the nation’s drive toward going cashless. Five major banks including the domestic lending units of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. will start planning the new payments infrastructure, which will cost less to operate than the existing one, they said Thursday.”

June 26, 2020

On the wires

Boku Partners With LINE Pay Japan to Enable eWallet Payments to Merchants

Boku Inc, a leading global provider of mobile payment and mobile identity solutions, is pleased to announce a partnership with LINE Pay, one of Japan’s largest eWallet and QR code payment service providers. This partnership will allow more than 37 million LINE Pay users in Japan to pay for merchant digital goods and services through the Boku platform. This agreement furthers the extensive depth of payment options for Japanese merchants and consumers alike that no other local payment services providers can match.”

May 27, 2020

On the wires

May 6, 2020

On the wires

PPRO Launches Leading Japanese Payment Methods, Propels APAC Expansion

PPRO , the world’s leading local payments platform-as-a-service, has entered the Japanese e-commerce market. Two popular Japanese payment methods – Konbini and Pay-easy – join over 150 local payment methods on PPRO’s platform, a portfolio that already includes APAC heavyweights like Alipay, WeChat Pay, UnionPay, and GrabPay.  The Japanese e-commerce market – boasting a healthy growth rate of 9% pre-COVID-19 – is showing potential for retailers and other merchants that will likely increase during and after the pandemic. Vastly popular local payment methods Konbini and Pay-easy will play a crucial role in boosting sales, helping global and domestic merchants access shoppers in the world’s third-largest e-commerce market.”

April 13, 2020

On the web

Japan FTC to Seek Cut of Interbank Money Transfer Fees

Nippon

“Japan’s Fair Trade Commission plans to urge financial institutions to effectively reduce interbank money transfer fees, informed sources said Monday. The antitrust watchdog believes the remittance fees that have stayed high for long years may interfere with the spread of cashless payments and other new services in the country. The FTC plans to call on financial institutions to correct the situation in a report that is expected to be released as early as next week, according to the sources.”

October 10, 2019

On the web

July 24, 2019

On the wires

Visa Sets Sights on a “Cashless Japan” With One Year to Go to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

businesswire

“With one year to go until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Visa, the Worldwide Payment Technology Partner of the Olympic Games, is preparing innovative payment experiences for athletes, visitors and citizens in support of the government’s “Cashless Japan” imperative to double the total of payments made digitally to 40 percent by 2025. With the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 expected to be the most innovative Olympic and Paralympic Games yet, Visa is in a unique position to help the Games become a catalyst for delivering the best in digital payments to Japan.“There is virtually no other market in the world today that compares to Japan – it is the world’s third largest economy and a leader across many industries, yet commerce remains predominantly cash-based,” said Stephen Karpin, Representative Director & Country Manager of Japan, Visa.

April 1, 2019

On the web

QR Code Payment Specs in Japan Could Be Unified by Summer

The Japan News

“The Payments Japan Association, a council on promoting cashless payments that includes representatives from the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry and the finance and information technology sectors, has announced standardized specifications. The specifications are being called “JPQR.” Currently, the multiple competing specifications have forced retailers to take time and make efforts. Standardized specifications will support the spread of cashless payments.”

January 3, 2019

On the web

Mizuho to launch digital currency to promote cashless payments in March

Nikkei Asian Review

“Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a proprietary digital currency that can be used for shopping and remitted at no cost, starting next March. Under the plan, retail shops using the currency will be charged fees significantly lower than for credit card services. The banking group aims to promote cashless payments by bringing about 60 regional banks on board.”

October 22, 2018

On the web

September 28, 2018

On the wires

September 26, 2018

On the web

September 5, 2018

On the wires

Alipay Seeks Japanese Partners to Strengthen Cashless Experience across the Country for Tourists before 2020

“Alipay, the world’s leading mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”), today announced that it will collaborate with a wider range of local Japanese partners to build a cashless environment for tourists coming to Japan, in particular for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. This will allow the large number of visitors coming from China the chance to enjoy easy payment methods that they are familiar with and provide business opportunities for local merchants in Japan.”

August 24, 2018

On the wires

Paidy Announces Strategic Investment from Visa

“Today, Paidy Inc. (“Paidy”), an instantly-issued post-pay credit provider, announced an investment from Visa (NYSE:V) as part of the company’s Series C funding. Paidy is Japan’s first instantly-issued post-pay credit service for ecommerce consumers. In addition, the two companies are partnering on new digital payment experiences that will give Japanese consumers more options when buying online and in-store.”

August 21, 2018

On the web

Japan to promote e-payment with subsidies and tax breaks

Nikkei Asian Review

“Japan lags behind such countries as South Korea, China and the U.S. in embracing cashless payment, frustrating many visitors from abroad. It seeks to make cashless options widely available ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The government intends to draw up a plan by year-end to standardize payment methods using QR codes. Businesses that provide settlement infrastructure in line with the plan would be eligible for subsidies. Relevant ministries will request necessary funding under the fiscal 2019 draft budget.”