Discounts to drive cashless payments in Japan

Date : 21 August 2019

Japan’s four leading convenience banners, 7-Eleven, FamilyMart, Lawson and Ministop will offer a 2% discount for cashless payments starting October.

On the spot discounts for nine months…

The rebate program launched by the Japanese government coincides with the rise of consumption tax from 8% to 10% in October. The initiative will look to drive consumption and the use of cashless payments. It will run nine months through to June 2020.

Shoppers will get an immediate discount rather than shopping points for convenience. A JPY600 (US$5.6) purchase, for example, will be offered a JPY12 discount so the customer will only be charged JPY588. The program will cover payments by credit cards, electronic money and quick response, or QR, codes on smartphones.

Our view

Retailers across Japan continue to explore different ways to offer shoppers convenience. This is being supported by the Japanese government, supporting the roll-out of RFID technology in retail. It also wants penetration of cashless payments to double to about 40% by 2025. The rebate program might help re-engage some Japanese shoppers in using cashless payments, who followed the widely publicised 7pay security breach last month.