A shopper checks out at an unmanned cash register using her mobile phone at convenience store in Tokyo on Oct 30. Photo: REUTERS/Tetsushi Kajimoto
business

Japan wants to go cashless, but elderly aren't so keen

105 Comments
By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Izumi Nakagawa

Cash is king in Japan, and more so for the country's fast-aging population who are still deeply reluctant to give it up.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to make more Japanese - the world's most dedicated cash-hoarders – switch to using cashless payments is producing some success, but not nearly as much as desired. A growing rank of the nation's elderly pensioners are resisting change, which could see Japan fall further behind its peers in adopting mobile app payments and electronic money.

Tokyo wants to double the ratio of cashless settlements to 40% by 2025 and to 80% eventually to spur labour productivity. Japan pales in comparison with other countries – 96% of transactions in South Korea and 66% in China are cashless, data by an industry lobby Payments Japan Association shows.

The transition to digital transactions will help Japan cope with a shrinking population and a tight labour market. Cashless payments will also allow stores to automate sales estimates and banks to cut back on costly automated teller machine networks.

Shoppers were recently encouraged to ditch cash for e-money after the government sweetened the deal by introducing a rebate program to ease the pain of a sales tax hike on Oct 1.

Funded by 300 billion yen earmarked for subsidies, shoppers get a refund in the form of points if they use cashless payments at small shops and convenience stores.

Big tech firms have responded with aggressive campaigns to promote their e-money payment systems including SoftBank Group Corp, Yahoo Japan Corp, e-commerce company Mercari and messaging app operator LINE Corp.

Some have met with initial success. QR code payment app PayPay -- owned jointly by SoftBank and Yahoo Japan -- saw memberships jump 5 million since August to 15 million, thanks in part to the government's campaign.

East Japan Railway Co also saw membership for the railway's electronic settlement system hit 11 million, up more than one million since September.

"Customers benefit from the convenience of electronic payment, while we receive fees and reduce costs by going ticketless," said Tomoyuki Soyama, deputy general manager tasked with IT business development at East Japan Railway. "It's a win-win situation."

The direct cost involving cash transactions, including labour at checkout counters, amounts to about 7 trillion yen a year, Mizuho Financial Group estimates, suggesting that going cashless will dramatically reduce such costs.

Satoshi Kumagai, senior vice president in charge of financial services and digital business at convenience store chain operator Lawson Inc, said the ratio of cashless payments of sales have increased to 25% from October versus 20% previously.

"It would be ideal to see all the transactions go cashless given labour shortages and the need to boost convenience for our customers," Kumagai told Reuters. "On the other hand, we'll need to find a way to help those elderly who may find it hard to go shopping without cash."

Japanese households hold more than half of their assets in cash and deposits. That proportion rises with the elderly, some of whom stick to cash as a way to prevent wasteful spending.

"Everyone likes cash, don't they?" a 65-year-old woman in Tokyo said, while looking at a cashless payment app banner. "I'm not interested in going cashless. I feel uncomfortable with it in case I lose my mobile phone. It's also unclear how much I've spent compared with taking money out of my wallet."

Many small businesses are also struggling to shift to cashless payments, or see little benefits in doing so.

Mom-and-pop shops rely on daily cash incomes to run their operations, so they cannot depend on receivables too much, said Yukio Kawano, chairman of Japan supermarkets industry lobby.

Less than half of some 2 million small firms deemed eligible for subsidies on cashless payments have been registered with the government campaign, due to the cost of introducing machines and high transaction fees.

A low crime rate, ultra-low interest rates and a nationwide web of ATMs have long made cash appealing in Japan, giving people few incentives to shift to cashless payments.

The trend, however, could change gradually as commercial banks consolidate their ATMs, reducing consumers' access to cash.

Still, convincing the elderly, who make up nearly one-third of the population, to change their practices won't be easy.

In a bustling shopping district of Tokyo's Ginza, many small stores have yet to embrace cashless transactions.

Mitsuo Kotake, 70-year-old owner of a small flower shop, said he started offering PayPay three months ago.

But entering pin codes and setting up apps are simply too confusing for his customers, most of whom are seniors coming to buy flowers for the graves of their beloved ones, he added.

"It's easy to use for young people, but elderly people are not familiar with it," he said. "I don't use cashless myself. Cash is quickest."

© Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

105 Comments
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Of course corporations want to go cashless, it increases spending. Of course the elderly are against it, they generally know how to be fiscally responsible.

39 ( +44 / -5 )

Exactly , old people know how to be fiscally responsible plus they know that they can't trust banks. That's why they piled up a lot of money and stash it under tatami mats or elsewhere.

32 ( +36 / -4 )

Tokyo wants to double the ratio of cashless settlements to 40% by 2025 and to 80% eventually to spur labour productivity.

In a country that runs on the backs of all the "middle-men" in nearly all walks of life here, "productivity" is not going to be "spurred" on by just going cashless!

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Plus having cash means you are independent from government, so they won't track you. No one will have control over you.

39 ( +41 / -2 )

Agree with everything said here. Trust is the issue. If there was a mean to gain trusts, cashless is entirely achievable.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

As much as I love modern, tech-based ways of making life easier, when it comes to money there's something satisfying with actually holding the money physically with you. Dunno, maybe it's just me.

24 ( +27 / -3 )

Well the elderly here are going to complain about anything that doesn't suit them as usual. In the end who cares what they think, society needs to move forward

-29 ( +5 / -34 )

See Black Mirror episode Fifteen Million Merits, for details.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japanese Government wants to go cashless, not the people.

I use cards when they are convenient for large purchases or where I want the benefits of 2x the warranty on the purchase.

It will be a cold day somewhere known to be very warm if I ever buy a cup of coffee or normal lunch using a card. Also, Suinae will have mastered flying with wings.

I don't do financial anything using phones. NOTHING. Couldn't imagine connecting my name much less a bank account to a phone.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Maybe if Japan had a system like many countries have had in the West for years, something called a debit card, people might be going cashless more quickly. But with so many different systems and ways to pay, charging your card etc. it is far more complicated than it needs to be. My 86 year old Dad, uses debit with no problem back home. Why? It is easy, convenient, and trustworthy.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

society needs to move forward

;-), interesting wording "moving forward". It wasn't that long ago, central bankers, following the IMF's lead were decrying that it's impossible to have "negative" (backward) interest rate when there are so much cash circulating and uncirculating.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

When engaging in commerce, it's becoming increasingly difficult to deal with a live human being. So it's not only cash, but that's one of the most obvious.

I like my PASMO card but only use it on trains and buses, or to buy a newspaper at a station kiosk. I recharge it in ¥5,000 increments and always save the receipts.

Most of all, though, I like the hefty feel of ¥500 coins in my change. I'm willing to bet that most of the ones that have been minted so far are in sleeping in people's piggy banks and chests of drawers.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I’m quite sure the problem us not technophobia among the older generation. The problem is they fear being tracked and exposing their hoards of undeclared cash.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

The conspiracy theorists are alive and well. Going cashless doesn't mean relinquishing control. I have proudly been cashless for almost 20 years. Since moving to Japan 3 years ago, I have lost a considerable amount of money because it isn't cashless.

Businesses in Japan seem to be the only ones that don't care about their bottom line. Because cashless naturally brings in more customers. Even though companies hate the fees they are charged for accepting credit cards by the credit card companies, it still is offset by the increased amount of customers.

Cashless payments have a lot of benefits that paying in cash doesn't offer.

-21 ( +6 / -27 )

So, companies benefit from customers going cashless as it saves them money and they will reduce prices then?

Yeah, right...

23 ( +24 / -1 )

Just think of who benefits most from cashless society. Big credit companies that take commissions for every cashless transaction you make. The low ratio of cashless transactions in Japan means that Japanese consumers are still the least exploited of all developed countries.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

You have a better chance at fighting off or running from 1 or 2 thieves trying to steal your cash and you can get a description of them, compared to the millions out there in the web world that would most likely never be identified and almost impossible to fight off. One example that comes to mind is 7pay. I'll stick with cash.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

cashless remove the freedom and privacy of people .simply.

who want to be controlled?

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Cash is king, keep it simple.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

There is a curious distinction in this article between "Japan" and "elderly people." Are elderly people no longer part of Japan or are there two nations?

Of course banking interests want a "cashless" society; at each transaction a little money flows into their coffers and that adds up greatly.

On the whole, people with plastic cards instead of cash spend more and risk credit card debt with obscene interest payments.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Walk in buy, pay yen, walk out, simple as that.

Ahh....... it is all about data how you spend and what you spend it on.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

@Since1981

You have a better chance at fighting off or running from 1 or 2 thieves trying to steal your cash and you can get a description of them, compared to the millions out there in the web world that would most likely never be identified and almost impossible to fight off. One example that comes to mind is 7pay. I'll stick with cash.

Are you saying fighting off someone trying to steal your cash is easier than insured forms of payments? With VISA, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express any purchase that wasn't made by you is returned without any issue. Any amount over $3,000 requires you to file a police report. Under, just contact the issuing company and the money will be returned. Even debit cards.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

alot of not most of the foreigners I know, myself included, have been constantly turned down for credit cards. they need to address that problem before talking about a cashless society.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

@ JJ Jetplane

In 30 years of being in Japan I have never fought off anyone trying for my cash.

And how are you losing money due it being cash?

Maybe you need to be more careful?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

i bet they change the 10,000 yen note to force all of the money out of the tatamis.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I hardly ever use cash in Japan. I use credit cards and pay them off in full each month. I can earn lots of various points this way, and save money (e.g. using Eneos card for gas, Aeon/Walmart card for groceries etc.). I tend to avoid places that only accept cash.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

It’s not about control. It’s about tracking. How I use my money is nobody’s business but mine. The government doesn’t need to know.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

"Japan pales in comparison with other countries – 96% of transactions in South Korea and 66% in China are cashless, data by an industry lobby Payments Japan Association shows."

Number doesn't lie. Japan is far behind neighbours, and that is a big shame.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

@Kurispusu

I never said anything about having to fight off people. @Since1981 said it's better to fight off someone to cash than deal with someone using your card online.

And how are you losing money due it being cash?

In America as well as when I lived in South Korea during college. My rent and all my bills came out of my credit card. Under my AMEX card those transactions were 3% cash back every month and 6% from January to the end of March. That's already money I don't get in Japan. Furthermore, the monthly discounts at restaurants, stores and other establishments. Don't get that either. My capital one credit card provided 50% off of movie tickets up to $25 back per month. Under all my credit cards, my first $30 on taxi transactions were complimentary. So many more services that a cash society doesn't provide that now forces me to pay full price for. If you pay your property insurance, life insurance, and other insurances through your credit card, they offered 2% cash back up to $250 per year. Don't receive that in Japan. There are many opportunities I took advantage of that a cash society doesn't allow.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I ain't that old but I don't like cashless either. With technological screwups, cash will be worth more than gold.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

How times have changed... Back in the day teaching English in the 90's I was from time to time insulted by Japanese students about how Americans use credit cards so much and have so much debt not like "us" Japanese. Completely ignoring the MASSIVE government debt. I also recall many stores would tack on 2% as a fee if you used a credit card to make you pay for the Visa fee that they would be charged. And finally, even up to about 10 years ago I was buying a train ticket at JR in Osaka and the gaijin with the credit card had to be checked to the lady in Japanese said she would have to "call" may credit card company to make sure the call was valid and I don't know what she said in halting English but I was pleased to have my card freezed, unable to buy the train ticket and having to make late night calls to my credit card company in the US. Oh, I am over these micro discriminations now but they were so annoying.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Both ways of cashless and cash seem best for all people. Some countries have all transactions are cashless system because too much fake money there.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm always running out of juice on my phone. All you need is a kid who wants to watch Youtube.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Theoretically speaking, Japanese invented the cashless way but the stupid govt never get it.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

They're just using the "elderly" as an excuse.... Politicians and the Yakuza want to keep cash around for a long time. Much harder to trace.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@JJ Jetplane

You have made those savings but so have I in Japan using cash.

Many a time I have negotiated prices down using cash and there are many discount shops selling discounted cards,tickets,gift vouchers etc.

I have been told no credit cards when buying air tickets here and also have had my foreign cards frozen (previous poster too) leading to calls (expensive) to have them unblocked.

Also, I don’t really have need of any form of credit or ‘card’ when buying items here as cash is readily accepted.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Why is it that everyone in this country has to literally move at the speed of the oldest members? Seriously I have to keep a damn fax machine because my daughters school occasionally sends faxes even though they send the same damn thing by email as well. For a country that loves to tout how technologically advanced it is every chance it gets they sure seem to hate using it. I use my cell phone to pay for everything and I hate that I have to carry around a bag and a wallet full of cash, bank cards, credit cards, etc for all of the places that I can't use e-payment. Not to mention all of the places that OFFER electronic payment but then you tell the cashier you want to use apple pay and then they have to call over like 4 people just to figure out how to get it to work. Seriously.

Not to mention I'm a bit of a germaphobe and I hate handling money, it's one of the dirtiest things in the world.

We went out the other night for our anniversary to a nice bistro and the bill was like 3man and the place didn't take cards. My husband and I hate carrying large amounts of cash and we just assumed a nice, expensive restaurant would take them so my husband had to go across the street to withdraw cash which is embarrassing. I almost never carry more than 1-2 man at most and even then it makes me uncomfortable that I'll lose my wallet whereas I ALWAYS have my phone on me.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Plus having cash means you are independent from government, so they won't track you. No one will have control over you.

This

alot of not most of the foreigners I know, myself included, have been constantly turned down for credit cards. they need to address that problem before talking about a cashless society.

Try Yodobashi Goldpoint creditcard, for me it was so easy to get that one.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I always use cash in Kochi, Nagoya. Why not? The chances of getting mugged are minimal.

I have a Edy points card.

Never use it, call me crazy? I am cynical about why all and sundry store data on my spending habits, you know the personal stuff, what clothes I purchase, what medication,etc etc.

In UK, different, use a card, why? because I do not want to get mugged or worse. That is the reality, the difference.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

From evolution point of view, cash is tribal way doing business. Credit card is for third world countries. Blockchain is the future.

-14 ( +1 / -15 )

@Akie, great idea. I would like to challenge you to spend the next week living your life with only Blockchain in Japan and tell us how it turns out. Enjoy!

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Try Yodobashi Goldpoint creditcard, for me it was so easy to get that one.

Thanks brother! I will!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Leaving large bundles of notes under the bed years on end is near impossible in countries like UK since they're constantly changing the design. And when the Queen either abdicates or dies, it will happen yet again. I hope the new plastic ones won't need to be changed so often.

In Japan I stick to using my credit card and Suica whenever possible. So tired of having all those coins, especially 1 yen coins. So the government knows I shop at five supermarkets, it knows I uses Amazon, it knows I pay for internet. Well, it also knows how much I earn and what's in my bank account. I can't spend more than what I earn.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Reckless, hahaha. Theoretically speaking, Japanese invented blockchain technology. The stupid govt missed the opportunity, a big shame.

By the way, I said blockchain is the future, Japan will catch up.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Nobody want to go cashless except banks, card companies, companies involved with the remote payments tools, large markets and the government (to track your expenditures for the taxes). Cashless is the most expensive and technology requiring way of making business. It requires tools, know-how, running costs. And it exposes you to be seen by anybody involved with any one of those systems. And in a disaster afflicted country like Japan, it does not offer any certainty in case of emergency (I myself experienced it during 2011 quake, when I remained for days without the possibility of taking cash from the machine because there was a prolonged blackout).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Cashless is repressive to the poor. Many do not have bank accounts and would rather not have 3.5% of every purchase going to CC companies.

Does Japan want to be repressive?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Their nothing like an American dollar,the feel and texture of a dollar, to the touch of you hand, a symbol of security

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

My fear is security. Cashless hackers abound.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

A lot of the elderly people in my burg seem to have big troubles figuring out how to use cash as well.

The hours I've spent in queues at the supermarket waiting for the venerable elder at the front of the queue to wait until the cashier rings up every item in the basket before making the first movement towards getting her purse out and fumble with coins.

When the UK redesigned their coins it was the same demographic moaning "These new coins, they're too small, I can't figure them out". Now the same bunch are holding everybody back again because now there's a new alternative they cling to what they know.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cashless payments depend on electricity. Chiba residents realise the value of cash after the last few typhoons when electricity went down.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

as a techie I am actually in favour of the cash rather than cashless payments. It's more secure, has no identity theft, and more importantly no identity tracking

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Kurispusu

So you are saying you receive a discount every month on your rent payment for using cash? If you do, I would love to know that program. Please inform me.

Also, you do know that if you incur fees for calling your credit card company, they reimburse you those fees? As for unblocking. It's as simple as either acknowledging a text message, confirming on the app, or calling if you don't use those options. Again, they reimburse you the fee so you don't lose anything.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Also, if you are a foreigner. I would love to how you negotiated down your visa price with the government. Those are things I would love to know.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The direct cost involving cash transactions, including labour at checkout counters, amounts to about 7 trillion yen a year, Mizuho Financial Group estimates, suggesting that going cashless will dramatically reduce such costs.

This is total BS.

There is no way that transitioning to cashless systems is going to save 7 trillion Yen or anything remotely close to that. If anything it'll probably cost society way more than it saves.

A) You still need cashiers with a cashless system and there is only a marginal reduction in the time a transaction takes;

B) Cashless systems require the installation and maintenance of a huge amount of infrastructure which costs a lot of money.

C) A cash based system requires no financial intermediaries taking a cut out of every transaction. When I give 1000 Yen to a store, they get all of it. When I use a credit card or debit card, the store loses some of that 1000 Yen to the banks.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@cracaphat

Cash would be worth more than gold? If that were really true then rich people wouldn't hide their fortunes and savings in purchasing actual gold. Cash is tied to the economy of the country it represents. Gold is a metal that is accepted everywhere. If the Japanese economy goes down, the value of the currency tanks with it. Some countries have their cash no longer accepted internationally because it has been devalued that much. Gold on the other hand isn't rejected anywhere.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese had amazing cashless technology 15 years ago. Felica (what powers Suica/Pasmo etc) is much faster, and arguably more secure than the NFC payment systems that got popupar in the last few years on Phones. Edy/Suica is still the fastest payment system, hands down for Convenience stores. How many times have you been in a rush only to have the person in front of you counting out their 1 and 5 yen coins. I can pay and be on my way before they have even opened their wallet's coin compartment.

However since this new cashless push, all these newcomers are trying to get in on the scene. And no idea why the Govt put their push behind PayPay, which is often slower than paying with cash. It requires your phone to be on, unlocked, have good signal, and the app loaded and a button pressed on the app. I cant think of a more clunky and error-prone system if i tried! Why is this better than the shop offering a felica reader? They still need a specialized PayPay terminal, and Felica works with no signal, the phone can even be turned off!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@rainyday

That isn't true. The infrastructure cost would actually reduce the current costs. Maintaining cash systems and infrastructure require more time and cost due to manual movements. The time savings also is actually the biggest draw. When you are counting seconds off of millions of people, it becomes hours. Studies show that cashless payment isles I'm supermarkets handle two to three times as many people as a cash isle over the same amount of time.

Also, one of the biggest costs in an economy is printing money. In particular coins. Printing coins and refurbishing the coins costs an economy the size of Japan $488 million per year.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

i don,t know about you guys, but i like the feeling of holding MY money in my hands, and do whatever i want with it . . .

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Benjamin Franklin Quotes. There are three faithful friends - an old wife, an old dog, and ready money.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

That isn't true.

Yes it is.

The infrastructure cost would actually reduce the current costs. Maintaining cash systems and infrastructure require more time and cost due to manual movements. The time savings also is actually the biggest draw. When you are counting seconds off of millions of people, it becomes hours. Studies show that cashless payment isles I'm supermarkets handle two to three times as many people as a cash isle over the same amount of time.

True, I didn't say there wouldn't be an increase in efficiency at scale in terms of moving people through cash registers faster which will reduce the need for as many cash registers, cashiers, etc.

Also though any such savings will have to be set off against the cost of the infrastructure. While just based on those two measures it might end up positive, the original quote implied that there would be a 100% reduction in 7 trillion Yen of transaction costs at cash registers, which is clearly nonsense.

Also, one of the biggest costs in an economy is printing money. In particular coins. Printing coins and refurbishing the coins costs an economy the size of Japan $488 million per year.

Yup, there will likely be a savings to the mint as well.

But you haven't addressed my main point, which is why I stick by my post, which is that cashless systems inject a financial intermediary into every transaction which will impose a huge cost. On average retailers are dinged for 2% of every transaction using a cashless payment, which by itself will add up to trillions of Yen in additional costs imposed on the overall economy, ultimately paid for by consumers.

So any savings that this system realizes through increased efficiency at cash registers will ultimately be hoovered up by major financial institutions, not members of the public.

My general feeling thus remains "screw that".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I like the feeling of Gold 9999 in my finger, and you?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Some US cities have banned cashless systems.

I agree it's discriminatory against the poor and elderly as well.

https://www.sfexaminer.com/the-city/sf-approves-ban-on-cashless-stores/

6 ( +6 / -0 )

At least 3 times this year alone, banks systems have gone down in Australia, leaving those without cash unable to purchase for hours until the issue was resolved. Cash wins every time for me.

Just put petrol in the car and go to pay only to find out the bank is down. No cash in my pocket to pay for the petrol. Stuck waiting at the petrol station for a few hours until the bank is back online or call a friend to come with cash to pay the bill. If only I had cash on me at all times this wouldn't happen.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Cash is much easier to use after a natural disaster and so it is better suited to Japan

8 ( +9 / -1 )

They keep mentioning the elderly in this article but the young would be wise to hang on to cash, too.

I don't need this nosy govt. nor stores to be able to track my spending habits. More vulnerability isn't my cup of tea either.

I'm not buying the going cashless thing as actually "going forward".

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Also, a lot of these payment options require a mobile phone with all those associated costs to be incurred.

Retired people that I know have no need for mobile phones.

Also, some posters are seem to think that holding gold is somehow detrimental.

They are misinformed...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

If the matter is savings for retirement then the worst thing that you can do is to pile paper money under your bed. Buy gold instead if you don't trust banks.

For daily expenses I have never seen in my life the classic creditcard machines fail so I just pay with instead of keeping cash around.

Phones are entirely different story. All smartphones now can be targeted by viruses, I will never trust this thing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

First, the transition of paper money to digital currency. Next, buy and sale monopoly. Then, complete control of your monetary situation. Doom day is in the horizon. Keep all your precious stones and precious metals safely hidden. GOD helps us all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Retired people that I know have no need for mobile phones.

All the retired people I know both have and need smartphones. Depends where you live. In our area there are very few public phone boxes, actually very rare. There are only a few banks within walking distance.

If an old person is out walking, which many do, and they have a medical emergency the smartphone is their only lifeline.

Since moving here at the end of last year I have been teaching some of the older people how to better use their smartphones for internet banking and payments.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cashless + disaster = bigger disaster

perhaps this is the goal...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just give me a debit card that takes it out of my bank account. I don't want to charge anything up, don't want any points to purchase Kitty tat, and I don't want to install your crappy app.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

cashless + disaster = bigger disaster

But in a major disaster like Tohoku, there was no power, so no ATM's, no open banks, people only had the cash they normally carried. Even those you had large amounts of cash at home lost that when their house were washed away by the tsunami.

In fact during the recovery, more than ¥1 billion from the wreckage was handed in to the police. Major banks quickly organised bank trucks to visit those areas which lost their banks. People who were cash only had also lost their bankbooks and cards and essential documents.

But if you are registered for internet banking you still have your details.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not mad keen on it, never much cared for cards but I guess it's going to happen, no matter what we say.

Well the elderly here are going to complain about anything that doesn't suit them as usual. In the end who cares what they think, society needs to move forward

I thought I'd never grow old, either. Then I learned that there's a reason we were told to respect our elders.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

zichiToday  12:44 pm JST

*cashless + disaster = *bigger disaster

But in a major disaster like Tohoku, there was no power, so no ATM's, no open banks, people only had the cash they normally carried. Even those you had large amounts of cash at home lost that when their house were washed away by the tsunami.

In fact during the recovery, more than ¥1 billion from the wreckage was handed in to the police. Major banks quickly organised bank trucks to visit those areas which lost their banks. People who were cash only had also lost their bankbooks and cards and essential documents.

But if you are registered for internet banking you still have your details.

what about gold 750 around your neck, like in India or Thailand?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

indigo

what about gold 750 around your neck, like in India or Thailand?

Not much use in a disaster if you can't find someone with enough cash to buy it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zichiToday  01:21 pm JST

indigo

what about gold 750 around your neck, like in India or Thailand?

Not much use in a disaster if you can't find someone with enough cash to buy it.

diversification is best.

some fat around the belly can also be useful during crisis. easy to carry and can keep you alive. :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@zichi

if the old people you know have an accident out walking and become unconscious then the smartphone is not much use is it?

However your point is not lost.

I use my phone for work but it would be possible to avoid it altogether if I wished to but I am still able to commute to various places for work.

When I slow down and become less mobile then the phone is going.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@JJ Jetplane

you are being a mite facetious

1 ( +1 / -0 )

kurisupisu

@zichi

if the old people you know have an accident out walking and become unconscious then the smartphone is not much use is it?

Now Apple watch can sent an alert when that happens.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

indigo 

zichiToday  01:21 pm JST

indigo

what about gold 750 around your neck, like in India or Thailand?

Not much use in a disaster if you can't find someone with enough cash to buy it.

diversification is best.

some fat around the belly can also be useful during crisis. easy to carry and can keep you alive. :)

Then if it comes down to that, I'm a rich fat old guy with plenty to spare. Probably I could survive a couple of days without water and maybe one or two weeks without much food.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I guess the elderly are also not keen on cashierless transactions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tokyo wants to double the ratio of cashless settlements to 40% by 2025

this system has been enforced. the population did not ask anything.

it is clear that Japan Gov the number 1 debts country want the cashless to manipulate more the economy with fake virtual money to survive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm pretty tech-savvy, but personally, it's a trust and stress thing for me when it comes to e-money. Considering the issues places already have over privacy, the lack of enforcement over it, and just the general consensus of keeping things simple without all the literal PAPERwork, plus the time it actually takes to process a payment; buying something at the store with e-money takes much longer since people add other factors to it, like point cards, and making a credit card payment at a bank machine or convenience store, all seems めんどくさい.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They can't even make the debit card simple... Why would I want this?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Don't do it, when the system crashes and it will nothing can be purchased your card is worthless

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The JAPANESE GOVERNMENT wants people to be cashless, but the citizens don't want to be robbed of their freedom.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cash is a waste of time and when you're busy and in a hurry, a mobile app gets you out of the check out line in seconds. It's also a pain seeing these people who rely on it reaching in their pockets for the right amount of change and holding up the line. Furthermore, paper receipts are a pain. Who needs the clutter when you can just go to your bank account to see all your transactions on line. And paper money is filthy. Who knows where it's been or what kind of people have touched it without washing their hands. Ugh! Disgusting!

Elderly people have to stop making excuses about having a problem using it. They need to use their minds to figure these things out otherwise they will end up being left behind in the dust. Hey! I'm 60 and tech savvy as hell. I think like a twenty year old and everything I do is online or through a mobile App. When cashiers try and give me a receipt for a purchase, I'm like, "Paper doesn't exist in my world."

And besides, eliminating all paper is good for the environment and we will also be saving on manpower as well by getting rid of jobs that require a live cashier by doing it ourselves.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The right credit card is great. No money changes internationally. I don't have to pay huge percentages to convert yen to Canadian dollars, etc. Same swipe or insert everywhere accepted. As for cash, it's value is still inflated away. I'd invest in gold, copper, and barrels of oil. Stuff you could really use that won't lose value in the long term.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The government needs to ensure people have the ability to use cashless systems if they are going to follow through on this. As people have mentioned, poor people often don't have access to good banking services. Japanese banks can be very strict as well, overly strict really. I applied for a debit card, not even a credit card, at the Japan Post Office and the first red flag was the staff member didn't even know the procedure, they were pretty baffled by it all. Then after a while I got a letter saying they weren't going to give me one and they weren't going to tell me why, pretty ridiculous but I suspect it was because I'm not a citizen as I met all the requirements (citizenship not being one of them). And that was for a DEBIT card to use for money already in my account :s

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There is no real point about going about "elder", like it or not, the refusal of cashless payment is trans-generational. I guess it help motivate people, as being old is suppose to be shameful, that make people want to be cool and young because they go cashless. I do not really think it works.

If the government want people to be cashless, perhaps it should instead try to understand why people are not doing it and solve the issue cashless payment generate. Or they can just let it magically solve itself or harass people out.

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but elderly aren't so keen

The elderly are correct. Cash means freedom, electronic payment means total visibility and control.

I find it sad that so many people by into the shallow "it is convenient" argument. But then again, we also have the large group that believes the corporate fake media in regard to politics, so it is no surprise.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cashless only works if the infrastructure is capable of supporting it in the short-term: as in the kind where it only takes something like the flip of a switch or something like that.

Easiest way to do the first step for cashless is making the available cashless payments more broadly supported by major chains of stores and other businesses aside from those that have already done so.

Given Japan's culture of hard-cash usage, it should be noted that for cashless to be more broadly accepted and used, they need to make it easier for users to use both cash and cashless methods seamlessly.

i.e: You pay with cash, and get some benefit like some sort of point cashback or something like that for your e-payment, should you have one on your phone or something like that.

It won't be easy, but at least it should give people some ideas on how to integrate cashless payment into a hard-cash dominated society like Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cashless seems hard as long as Japanese love keeping much cash in house home and hesokuri (some hiding cash) at home. Japanese love cash anyway. Both ways of cash and cashless are good for society, not only one way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And besides, eliminating all paper is good for the environment 

If you think paper banknotes -- which last several years -- are bad for the environment, I'd be happy to have all denominations turned into coins. Coins can last over a century assuming that they retain some value (something that inflation-targeting central banks are fighting against). And they don't require electricity to pay with!

When you pay with a credit card, you often get a second receipt specific to the credit card -- doubling the waste paper!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't want to go completely cashless thanks, I like having cash as I know that's what I want to spend. It actually really annoys me how companies change systems to try to force you to go a certain way, just like how cell phone companies keep changing the system to make you buy new phones.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cashless requires electricity.

After Typhoon 15, our local 7-11 (for example) had no electricity (no electricity for the store, no cell phone towers in the area functioning). Therefore, cash was the only way to shop.

Power wasn't restored in this particular area for more than ten days.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It will be a cold day somewhere known to be very warm if I ever buy a cup of coffee or normal lunch using a card. Also, Suinae will have mastered flying with wings.

It is technology that has made it so much easier for small transactions too. No need to fish around for the cash or wait for the change. Just tap and you're done. So much quicker. And I couldn't care less if my bank knows that I've been in Starbucks.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can't believe all the love for cash. I barely carry any cash with me anymore and it's purely for emergencies. If a place doesn't offer cashless I won't shop there. It's fantastic to have a slim wallet without any coins in it. It's also a lot safer not carrying around 5-30,000yen in one's wallet/purse as is standard in this country.

But not all cashless payments are equal.

The Good...

CCs are great for accruing points and getting free flights.

Apple Watch using cashless payments is insanely convenient. It can be used for purchases and also a Suica card can be put on it so no need to pull anything out of your pocket when getting on any train or bus.

The Not So Good

PayPay is a PITA. It works but it's not very convenient which is one of the points of a cashless system.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It will be a cold day somewhere known to be very warm if I ever buy a cup of coffee or normal lunch using a card. Also, Suinae will have mastered flying with wings.

I don't do financial anything using phones. NOTHING. Couldn't imagine connecting my name much less a bank account to a phone.

Good for you. I prefer the convenience of paying with my phone instead of counting out little coins.

It's hard to imagine your name isn't connected to your phone in some way, though...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish all point cards could be consolidated into one single card. I would even allow a barcode to be tattooed onto my hand if I could. I find digging out point cards wastes so much time for myself and for the others on the line doing so.

All my American cards (1 debit/1 credit) and Japanese Cards (3 credit) all pay off the bill in one shot. So essentially I use them as a debit card. But I am not going to pull out a card, have it rejected and have the point card have to be backed out.

Plus, I really wish they would stop asking me if I have a point card, stop handing my bag of goods before the payment transaction is done, and quit putting change on top of the receipt.

Don't ask me if I have a point card.

Take my payment first and hand me back the change...by itself so I can put it away.

Hand me my receipt...by itself so I can put it away.

Put my goods in a bag and hand them to me.

Smile and say thanks.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe they should start making banking usable? Like actually beeing able to pay through things by a bank account? Introducing a mandatory description to a wire transfer, so invoice numbers, etc. can be entered? Introducing monthly scheduled transfers as a mandatory option for banks to offer to their customers, etc. It is no wonder they prefer trading cows and chickens here, when it ends up beeing more convinient...

(I just have received a visa debit card from my bank - i thought it might be actually useful. turns out you can do "nearly" everything - except setting up monthy payments for bills like water and electricity. Because reasons...)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just have received a visa debit card from my bank - i thought it might be actually useful. turns out you can do "nearly" everything - except setting up monthy payments for bills like water and electricity. Because reasons...

I can’t imagine what reasons. We’ve been paying utilities and umpteen other regular bills through the bank for as long as I can remember.

You don’t need a debit card. Just take your bills in to the bank and ask them to take care of them every month for you.

Better still, set up regular payments through your ordinary credit card, and enjoy the points that accumulate

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can’t imagine what reasons. We’ve been paying utilities and umpteen other regular bills through the bank for as long as I can remember.

You don’t need a debit card. Just take your bills in to the bank and ask them to take care of them every month for you.

I tried to do it online, since virtually any payment slip has a "hey, register and pay directly through your bank account url". They all seem to support a limited ammount of banks and mine is not one of the big 4-5 here - so it isn't supported

Better still, set up regular payments through your ordinary credit card, and enjoy the points that accumulate

I have no ordinary japanese credit card at the moment, since I got my visa just a couple of weeks ago. I could get an american express card without hassle, since I have been a customer for over 20 years, but the platinum one does cost nearly double of what it costs in my home country... So I am holding on to it just a bit longer...

(And of course you cannot pay regular bills with a foreign credit card - NHK and Internet Service seem to be exceptions)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm sticking with a Credit Card... rather than something like Apple Pay... for example, just trying getting Apple to refund you for a fraudulent purchase ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mine is not one of the big 4-5 here - so it isn't supported

Our main bank is a very small, local (ie only in this prefecture) affair, certainly not 'one of the big 4-5', but they're quite happy handling all our regular payments.

My bank cash card also works as a debit card and as a credit card; your non-major bank may well have a similar set-up. It wouldn't cost you anything to ask!

(Hint: don't try to do stuff online; go into your bank and talk to a real person, they're usually very helpful.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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