Japan Payments Guide

  Konnichiwa, Nihon!!!

“One glass of water doesn’t equal another. One may just appease the thirst, the other you may enjoy thoroughly. In Japan, people know about this difference.” says Jil Sander, the legendary German designer.

We all imagine “The Land of the Rising Sun” differently. Many will envisage the enchanted serenity of a road covered by pink Sakura trees on a smooth windy day and mesmerising snowy hills of mighty Mount Fuji. In contrast, others dream of manga culture, Kois, and fearless Samurais. 

What about Shinkansen bullet trains running up 320 km per hour? Wacky and colourful vending machines? Sumo wrestlers? Mouthwatering deep-fried shrimp tempuras and sushi, typically eaten with hot wasabi? Japan is like another dimension, although it is located on planet Earth.

Actually, Japan has always been a land distinguishing itself from the others for centuries since the Heian Period. As we all agree, holding your traditions closely in this whirling modern world is like capturing lightning in a bottle. However, we are talking about a culture combining thousands-year-old principles and the cutting-edge technology of today’s world. Somehow, Japan still stands like an old wise and gallant Shogun who knows what to take inside the shiro (Japanese castle) and what to leave out.


Credit Cards Japan

Another well-known title of Japan is the Mecca of technological innovations such as cassette players, bullet trains, QR codes, blue Led, Japanese cars, and many others. According to international companies, Japanese technology is considered the most trustworthy and innovative. Through this obtuse angle, it does not surprise us to see that Japan cooperates with leading establishments worldwide.

On the other hand, Japan is already the birthplace of prestigious trademarks of the 21st century. It is possible to see a Japanese signature in any field. Tens of companies that originated in Japan shape today’s world. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Yamaha, Bridgestone Tires, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Panasonic, Pioneer, Fujitsu, Casio. You name it! 

Carrying out the third largest economy worldwide after the United States and China, Japan also has one of the most densely populated and urbanised populations reaching 130 million.

All the requirements to be a leading country and technology provider is sustained when we add its evident success in OECD countries in reading literacy, maths and sciences. Japan (formally Nihon-koku) is the centre of what is new and what is about to come into our lives. 

Payment Options in Japan

 Considering its massive population reaching 130 million, the Japanese market takes the attention of multiple fields worldwide. Most prestigious companies want to penetrate this market and cooperate with Japanese establishments. We have prepared this explanatory article for those who desire to be an entrepreneur, expat or digital nomad in this fantastic country and are curious about payment methods and practices in Japan.

To integrate into this thriving market, there are some crucial statistical facts to comprehend the consumer habits in Japan. First of all, in contrast with Japan’s innovative role, Japanese people are pretty conservative regarding international payments. Japan carries one of the lowest cross-border shopping rates, which can be linked to iron shielded cultural norms against the outside world.

94% of Japanese are internet users, while the population’s median age is 49.2. This means, unlike other countries dominated by a young age, most middle-aged and older people in Japan are active online users. Therefore, we do not talk about a part who have lost their interest in the blessings of being online. 

Another fact we encounter is that the Japanese are mainly inclined to utilise cash in their daily lives. The Japanese rate of using credit card payment options is 21%, whereas the Danish have already dematerialised 73% of their payments through plastic cards. Just 18.8% take advantage of digital payments such as Google Pay, Samsung Pay, or Apple Pay which is also a low rate compared to many European countries and the United States. 

On the other hand, recent statistics show that only 6.4% of Japanese investors own a form of cryptocurrency. Truthfully, this is pretty surprising for such an advanced technology leader. People’s interest in cryptocurrencies may increase in the near future due to the expansion of cryptocurrency exchanges and the rise in Bitcoin value. However, it is still a mystery why Japan has such a low interest in the future currency.  

What are the Different Types of Payment Methods in Japan?

There are various determiners to point out the most popular payment methods in Japan. Economic status, age, gender, location, lifestyle and bias may change people’s opinions. For instance, 32.1% of the male population have used the internet to pay bills, while this percentage drops to 16% for females. Let’s take a closer look at preferred payment options in Japan:

Credit Cards in Japan

68.4% of Japanese own a credit card or debit card. Popular credit cards are Visa, Mastercard and JCB (Japan Credit Bureau). However, we see that this high rate of ownership does not mirror payment preferences. Still, payments in cash are the most used payment option in Japan. 

There is also another Japan-originated bank and credit card company, Rakuten Bank. It has its own cryptocurrency, the “Rakuten Super Point”. More than a payment option, it offers a comprehensive internet service with flight miles, pay with cryptocurrency, cashbacks on holidays, and reasonable instalments in BNPL purchases.

Digital Wallets in Japan

95.3% of Japanese people have received digital payments in the past year. This is a high rate compared to multiple Western counterparts. Especially when we add the 46% of active online shoppers, the conclusion brings us to the opinion that Japan has massive potential for e-wallets. Leading digital wallets in Japan are PayPal, PayPay, Apple Pay, Rakuten, and LinePay. 

Considering the recent chaotic Covid-19 issue, just like all countries, Japan started to use QR code payment systems. Not to touch banknotes full of germs and viruses is a wiser idea when cashless on-the-counter payments through multiple digital wallets are so functional. It will not be a mistaken estimation if we say cashless payments and mobile wallets are the future of payments, whether the purchase is online or in-store.  

The “Konbinis”

These Japanese-style post-purchase proximity payments let Konbini users pay their utility bills, buy public transportation tickets, and cash out. Primarily used in the age of senior citizens and youngsters, Konbini users can purchase items or services by showing their ID and paying the amount in a Konbini payment terminal within a week following the transaction.  

Jeton Wallet in Japan! 

Salute to astonishing Japan, carrying its glorious culture and magnificent landmarks! Our state-of-art digital wallet, Jeton Wallet, welcomes Japanese consumers! We have been in the Japanese market for a while and have already extended our client portfolio considerably here. Are you looking for seamless and dependable online payments? Do you want to follow all your transaction history with a few clicks on an ideal mobile application? We are what you desire!

Furthermore, through Jetoncard and JetonCash, you can shop online and in physical stores in JPY and a myriad of other fiat currencies. Visit jeton.com today and meet our smooth services ahead of their time. 

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