Japan Data

Less than a Third of Japanese People Use Electronic Money Daily


Although Japanese people on average have 2.9 electronic money cards each, only 30% use them on a daily basis.

According to a Payment and Settlement Statistics report released by the Bank of Japan, in 2017 the total amount of electronic money transactions increased by 1.4% from the previous year to ¥5.24 trillion, while 367.25 million electronic money cards were issued. This means that on average each citizen possesses 2.9 electronic money cards. The number of transactions made also rose by 4.6% in the same period to 5.49 billion.

Electronic money refers to prepaid systems that are charged prior to making transactions. This includes Suica and other cards issued by railway companies, and those from retail distributors Aeon and Seven & I Holdings. An increasing number of stores accept electronic money and it is steadily taking root in daily life. As most transactions are made at convenience stores or in shops within train stations, the average transaction amount per person is less than ¥1,000.

The Bank of Japan’s Opinion Survey on the General Public’s Views and Behavior in June 2018 showed that 77.8% of people use a form of cashless transaction, whether credit cards, electronic money, debit cards, or prepaid cards.

However, while 70.3% used a credit card, only 27.3% use electronic money on a daily basis. People may possess an average of three cards each, but surprisingly few use them.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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