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Hoping to boost spending, Japan tries to sell shoppers on cashless purchases

By Stanley White

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Great idea! Just tell it to the large supermarket in my central Tokyo neighbor. They refused my VISA card, saying they only accept paper bills and coins.

The last and only time I used the QR app on my phone, it didn't work cuz the image was stubbornly fuzzy. Two members of the restaurant staff, who told me I had to use QR for some promotional reason, spent a while trying to get a clear image but couldnt and eventually gave up. Have since uninstalled it. No thanks!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cashless is the way to go. At least if you use VISA, MasterCard, AMEX, and a select few other companies. The insurances tied into those cards make it far safer than using cash. Also, cash back ultimately means you save money.


The atm thing is something I am still skeptical about. So far, most countries have found that atms greatly reduce costs. In the US, adding one atm reduces the need of up to 3 cash tellers in a branch. Also, it increases accessibility.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Just like when you go to a casino and bet with plastic chips that don't seem very valuable!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cashless payments ? by the way, what's a credit card?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It just benefits business and hurts normal people, making more and more people go into debt which they have no hope of ever paying back and of course 0 savings like the US.

What’s good for businesss and the “economy” is generally bad for the people.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is news propaganda. I don't buy it. (pun intended)

3 ( +4 / -1 )


Actually, credit cards hurt business. How do you think Credit card companies make money? They take a percentage of the transaction. If people use only credit cards, none of their cash, and spend within their limits then they will actually win out using credit cards.

Businesses take a hit from credit card users. However, because they were initially for the wealthy, businesses didn’t want to alienate the people with money so they accepted them even with companies like AMEX taking 2% to 3.5% of each transaction.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Finally waking up, smelling the coffee. What can i say, better late than never.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Need just a few more success stories then a major revolution will take place in the spending habits. Amazing. People still us bankbooks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I feel anxious one. In a society where cashlessness has progressed, blackouts can easily lead to outages.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

QR codes? Why not NFC (touch)? That's like using fax machines to send documents instead of PDF/JPG attached to emails. (Oh right. That's what they actually do here.)

Also, with so many different brands of QR/cashless payment networks, one needs a stack of apps if they want to use the technology at multiple retailers.

In the US, there are basically two payment brands, Google Pay and Apple Pay. And, they both work via NFC. Yeah. Sure. Starbucks has their own app for payments using a visual barcode. But, they are one of the outliers.

I thought that they were rolling out similar touch systems in Japan at one time. I guess they opted for optical.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Amazing. People still us bankbooks.

Right??? And how about the wall of different branded ATM's you see in some depato and train stations, instead of ones that work with multiple banks? The konbini ATM's manage that mazing feat. Why can't others?

Nothing like waiting in line for the one ATM from your bank, while the five others next to it are empty, but won't work with your bank.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

After a tsunami, what will that VISA buy you?

After power fails, what will that VISA buy you?


I'm pro-cash for trivial purchases that don't need warranty protections. Things like meals, trinkets, the thousands of things we buy to use immediately.

Going cashless helps your spending to be tracked by everyone, which is why banks, retailers, sports stadiums, and govts want this. Is that in your interest? Sometimes it is helpful to have your spending tracked, but shouldn't you control who sees that data?

What about people who don't have bank accounts? Do you want to push them farther out of "normal"? How will they buy beer?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What about people who don't have bank accounts? Do you want to push them farther out of "normal"?

Or the people which do not have a smartphone ?

Fascinating, so the idea is that you will not be able to choose in between having a smartphone with Internet or eating. If you do not have a smartphone with Internet, you are not allowed to eat.

The wish of some for full cashless society creep me out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What about people who don't have bank accounts? Do you want to push them farther out of "normal"? How will they buy beer?

Prepay cards do not require a bank account.

However, there will always be a role for cash I think, just a lot less than it has been. Other countries are moving away from it and not experiencing problems so why shouldn't Japan catch up?

Not for the first time it is like Japan is about 30 years behind the rest of the world. Its banking system felt ancient 20 years ago and hasn't changed much since then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the food and drinks stalls did not accept cash.

That should be completely illegal. Cash exists for a reason and its so any person can function in society. I can't give a homeless guy electronic credits so he can buy some food. I also don't want to hand my kid my card worth tens of thousands of yen so he can go make a purchase in the hundreds.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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