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Japan, it’s time to end your love affair with cash

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By Je Hoon Lee

Japan has a stubbornly intimate relationship with cash. The country remains one of the most cash-based economies in the advanced world. According to Boston Consulting Group, cash accounts for nearly 65 percent of all payments in Japan, which is more than twice the average of 32% among other developed economies.

Japan’s love affair with cash may be perplexing. After all, the country’s long-established status as a world leader in technology conflicts with its tepid transition to plastic and electronic money.

The dominance of cash transactions can be attributed to a series of government policies starting in the late 1990s.

During the fourth quarter of 1995, the Bank of Japan reduced its benchmark interest rate to an unprecedentedly low 0.5 percent. In the next 23 years, Japan’s interest rate would never return to where it had been prior to the rate cut. Many people consequently withdrew their money out of financial institutions because they both feared that banks’ loss of profitability could eventually lead to bankruptcy and realized they would not earn any money storing their savings in a deposit account.

Then in 2015, the Japanese government lowered the inheritance tax threshold, leaving families previously falling below the taxable level subject to inheritance tax. As a result, many of those liable to be taxed converted their assets into cash to evade detection from authorities.

Another law that intensified the turning of assets into cash was the My Number law implemented in January of 2016, which assigned a 12-digit identification number to every Japanese resident. Intended to improve administrative efficiency, the system instead fueled widespread public concern over possible personal information leaks, a sentiment further reinforced by recent data breaches in the country. These developments caused an increase in tansu yokin, or savings in the wardrobe. With the abundance of cash at homes, much of consumer transactions in Japan have been made with cash.

Japan’s love for cash is also partly due to its people’s skepticism of credit cards – Many Japanese people fear inadvertently spending too much money if they use their credit cards. Additionally, many small businesses in Japan refuse cards – both debit and credit cards, to avoid paying processing fees and other forms of bank remittances.

As understandable as Japan’s reasons for excessively using cash sound, the country is in danger of missing out on the benefits of the electronic payments ecosystem.

First and foremost, electronic payments can render consumption more convenient. Not only is a digital payment speedier to process than a cash payment, but carrying loose change can also be burdensome.

Electronic payments can also allow more consumers to participate in the digital economy. Following the advent of the Internet, e-commerce sites have proliferated and flourished to the extent where it has become more difficult to find goods unavailable online than those that are available. As credit card remains the primary payment option on e-commerce sites, cardholders have access to a broad international marketplace that is unavailable to consumers who only use cash.

A wider adoption of digital payments will also increase access to financial resources. With cash, there is a limit in the amount of money people can spend – consumers are restricted to the fund they have in their wallet. They could write a check but sellers may be unenthusiastic about accepting them because of the risk of nonpayment in the future. Digital payments can resolve both of these problems: they provide consumers with all available money or lines of credit and ease sellers’ worries about payment guarantees.

A robust digital payments ecosystem will positively reshape how buyers and sellers interact with each other. Not only are digital transactions more efficient and convenient than cash transactions, but they can also increase consumption. This rise in consumption will in turn increase production, the number of jobs and income. This beneficial economic cycle will ultimately lead to a higher economic growth.

On April 11, 2018, the Japanese government announced that it hopes to increase the share of cashless payments from about 20 percent to 40 percent by 2025 and eventually to 80 percent in the future. Understandably, cashless payments will benefit the Japanese economy by encouraging consumption as well as helping the government collect more tax due to increased transparency. However, if Japan wants to achieve this lofty goal and not lag behind other countries, the Japanese government needs to provide proper funding, training and infrastructural support so that the country can quickly and effectively build up a robust digital payments ecosystem. Japan, it’s time to end your love affair with cash.

Je Hoon Lee is a Bachelor of Arts candidate in the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College and a former exchange student at Keio University. 

© Japan Today

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Japan’s love for cash is also partly due to its people’s skepticism of credit cards 

Not sure what he is talking about. Everybody and his dog has a credit card here, multiple ones at that. The problem I see is that a lot of shops, bars and small restaurants still don't accept credit cards, which forces customers to carry cash. One of my favorite sushi places, still will not accept credit cards, so I carry cash.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

So people turning their already taxed inheritance into cash so the tax and spend and brown baggers can't tax it again is bad thing? Um..OK.

Why not pass a law making short term contract workers illegal and part timers have to pay into the system? Then the corps will have to pony up and stop sucking on the middle class.

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The main reason is Japan's aging population – younger people have been post-cash for years.

Unfortunately, old people have most of the money.

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@Mark - no kidding....I wonder if this guy was paying attention when he was at Keio!!

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Je Hoon Lee is a Bachelor of Arts candidate in the Department of Economics at Dartmouth College

Curious claim to fame. I've heard of some, rather sad, people putting PhD after their name, but advertising the fact that you're an undergraduate is a little bit weirder....

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Credit cards charge a fee to the businesses that accept them. I, for one, say more power to cash. It's how I've traveled in and around Japan every year for the past ten. The hotels I deal with appreciate and honor that. Maybe that's because I don't trash my rooms, or perhaps it's because I know when to bow and say thank you.

Keep saying 'no' to credit cards, my friends. I will continue to enjoy your favor.

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PerformingMonkeyToday  09:14 am JST

The main reason is Japan's aging population – younger people have been post-cash for years.

Unfortunately, old people have most of the money.

And probably one reason why the older people have the money is because THEY DIDNT USE CREDIT CARDS. and probably one reason why young people are in debt.

So a shop doesn't use credit cards because the credit card companies "charge the shop" money, for the credit card company to "charge customers for the debt". Whereas, i can pay 100% of the price at the counter, the shop can receive 100% of the money, maybe even pass those savings onto the customer, or keep it for themselves.

I don't think I have EVER in my life, managed to haggle a better deal with a Credit Card.

Maybe the Japanese customer sees these cards for what they are, NOT credit cards, but DEBT cards. Imagine if a company told every customer... would you like to increase you debt limit? They would run away and thats one reason why the DEBT CARD companies start you off light, just a few hundred dollars, and gradually over the months and years, stealthily increase you DEBT limit by thousands without your permission. They track those DEBTORS and increase their debt level on those customers who can't control their debt/spending.

Credit cards=Debt cards. Once you understand that, you'll be a lot richer.

Je Hoon Lee  is the kind of salesman you'd never want to meet. He makes it sound as though he's actually doing you a favour by getting you into debt, so he can increase his bonus, increase his sales and his companies profits.

Cash all the way.

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that's because I don't trash my rooms, or perhaps it's because I know when to bow and say thank you.

Keep saying 'no' to credit cards, my friends.

I use credit/prepaid cards in preference to cash whenever and wherever possible, and strange to tell, I have never trashed a hotel room and I have the bowing and thank-youing down to a T. I don't think there's any link between how a person pays and how they behave. As in former ages, those who insist on sticking to the Old Ways tend to have a bit of a Holier Than Thou attitude, but I don't think that saves any money, either.

probably one reason why the older people have the money is because THEY DIDNT USE CREDIT CARDS. and probably one reason why young people are in debt.

No, the reason older people have money is probably more to do with the fact that they were blessed with lifelong employment and lived through the era of high income in the bubble years, when it was easier to save and invest. The reason young people have less money is more to do with the fact that it's hard for many of them to get steady, full-time employment that pays a decent living salary.

Holding a credit card doesn't mean anyone is forcing you to use it or to spend more than you can afford. If you're careful/sensible with your money, you'll be careful/sensible with it whether it's paper or plastic or lives inside your smart phone.

I would hate to go back to the bad old days when you couldn't go shopping if you hadn't had time to get to the bank. As for keeping all your money at home in the tansu or under the mattress - in a land prone to earthquakes, typhoons, flooding, fires, evacuations...you'd have to be crazy!

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cleo

don't think there's any link between how a person pays and how they behave. 

I am not sure where your evidence is for that theory, because there certainly is a lot of evidence to show how you pay influences how people behave.

Why do you think companies reduce the amount of clicks you have to do to complete a purchase online? Payment is made because the person has gone through so much, or if they reduce the clicks, before you have second thoughts, you spend more.

If you are unsure about how credit cards are related to behaviour, well beg to differ as the credit card companies seem to find value in credit SCORING, which is partly based on BEHAVIOUR. Now I have no problem with a debit card, because that is link directly to our bank accounts. On top of that that, if a certain group of people see the MONEY they DON'T actually have,EG the money in their wallet, then they are more likely to delay that purchase.Good for the customer but bad for the shop, because they loose out on that sale.

If you are still unsure how credit cards and behaviour are connected then you can see even from todays CREDIT crunch, than people are increasing their credit debt, and that fuels the so called economy. And if it isn't a credit card its some other form of debt. Remember endowment mortgages. Pay the interest now, and pay the loan 25 years later, and that blew up in everyones face. However once the bubble pops, people will start to stop spending. The US credit card debt is over 1 trillion dollars.

Another area of people taking credit they can't really afford is in Personal Contract Purchase for a car they would normally not be able to afford. Some people find they are loosing out due to all the terms and conditions. Yes some people will win something, and some will loose, but the SHOP will ALWAYS WIN.

So while you may not think there is a relationship with behaviour and how one buys something, there is a ton of evidence, either retail or financial that there is a lot of behaviour related to purchases.wether that is cash or credit.

Consumer psychology is huge. There is a reason why something is priced at $199 and not $200 dollars.There is a behavioural reason why every time you go to a shop the tabacco/candy is right in front of your eyes at the till.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/retail-therapy/201306/why-we-overspend-credit

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Stick with cash Japan !!

It's still better than invented digital debt money.

Whilst we get sold the convenience story of digital money (which is true) The real drive for this move from cash is to benefit Governments and Banks. Why ? For our prosperity of course ! They would never promote such a thing for more taxes and profits would they ??? Surely not

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

I am not sure where your evidence is for that theory, because there certainly is a lot of evidence to show how you pay influences how people behave.

I'd like to see that evidence. TrevorPeace is claiming that there is a link between him paying cash and him not trashing his hotel room and therefore the hotels being thankful for him paying cash; the implication apparently being that people who pay by credit card are unwelcome low-lifes with no idea of how to behave in public. I'm not a lowlife, and I find my plastic is every bit as welcome as paper.

Why do you think companies reduce the amount of clicks you have to do to complete a purchase online? 

That's a completely different scenario to credit card users being prone to trash hotel rooms. I think you're confusing TrevorPeace's dubious claim with marketing technique, which is of course a completely different matter.

the credit card companies seem to find value in credit SCORING, which is partly based on BEHAVIOUR

Tell me about it. My Mum worked for a credit company in the days when only the very rich and influential had credit cards and the rest of us plebs had no choice but to save up till we had the money to buy what we wanted, or we got a credit voucher and had my Mum on the doorstep once a week expecting payment. And if the weekly payment wasn't forthcoming, that family got no more credit. A synonym for credit is trust. Only people who were trustworthy could buy stuff on credit: people who could be trusted to pay.

 people taking credit they can't really afford

Spending money you can't afford is not good, of course. Neither is raiding the kiddies' piggy banks. It's easy; don't spend money you don't have. Whether it's paper or plastic is not the point.

The US credit card debt is over 1 trillion dollars.

And that is relevant to Japanese cash/credit preferences how? The article states, Many Japanese people fear inadvertently spending too much money if they use their credit cards. Which means most Japanese do not simply rack up as much debt as they can get away with, until the card company pulls the plug.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Everybody and his dog has a credit card here, multiple ones at that

But just because people possess cards doesn’t mean they actually use them.

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In my home country, the UK, cash is rapidly going extinct. Many people, the young especially, just do not carry cash. This trend has been massively advanced by the introduction of contactless payments, either with a chip on the card or through ApplePay. Far quicker and easier than cash and no need to carry around lots of change and cash. People now use these for lower value payments, sub-1000 yen equivalent, whereas once that would have been a cash payment.

The argument about the cost of cards does not hold water - if it is the case in Japan, why do other countries not have this problem? For a business, cash is expensive - banks charge quite a lot for cash handling. In addition, there is the cost of the ATM as well as all the security you need around cash. It is a very expensive business, which increases costs for consumers.

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carrying loose change can also be burdensome

I manage with the loose change. It's not such a burden. But thanks for caring.

digital transactions ... can also increase consumption. 

Moving to all-digital transactions would also put one's savings at the whims of central bankers, and they have expressed an interest in imposing negative interest rates on savers, to "stimulate spending" by taking money away from the savers if they opt not to spend their own money at a certain time.

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cleo

And that is relevant to Japanese cash/credit preferences how? The article states, Many Japanese people fear inadvertently spending too much money if they use their credit cards. Which means most Japanese do not simply rack up as much debt as they can get away with, until the card company pulls the plug.

Well, that is the relevance, the Japanese don't want to spend too much money, because you end up giving interest to shareholders.

Lets look at the US, UK et al.

They constantly keep telling the public... when the economy is going well.. "People aren't saving enough for their pension and this must be addressed". Well, how can you save if you OVERSPEND on credit.

Then when the economy tanks, the same politicians will shout out loudly, "people aren't spending enough" and then loosen the pension rules. The UK is now a good example of people now dipping into their pension pot to spend today.

Then the same politicians will tell you that "everyone is living longer so, to cut the costs, EVERYONE MUST WORK LONGER", only for joe public to get less out of the system they payed into.either by Tax, by sales tax, or by saving. Lets remember, not everyone loves longer, many die younger, and never collect, some will live longer, but they have done their match.

Furthermore, how is this relevant, well when the US economy sneezes, everyone else catches a cold. I'm sure the last banking crisis proves that.

And lets look at Japans debt....... it has to be paid back sooner or later, and that will be by ....the consumer. Thats why they are hiking the sales tax up, and i will expect sales tax to increase much higher over the coming years.

There is nothing wrong with using debit cards, or other tech, but credit cards are not CREDIT, it is DEBT by any other name. They have their uses if you get some benefit like free insurance, when you are on holiday, or if a company goes bankrupt in regards to the sale of goods. (depending on the countries laws).

Otherwise I'll stick to my debit card and stay away from the credit card.

I'm not an economist, but any house wife who earns $1, knows she can't spend $3 without having to cut back to 90 cents for the next few months or years.Which in the long term makes you poorer.

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cleo

Spending money you can't afford is not good, of course. Neither is raiding the kiddies' piggy banks. It's easy; don't spend money you don't have. Whether it's paper or plastic is not the point.

I understand you think it is easy, but it is hard for many people when they see their kids friends having all the latest games, computers, switch, iPhone, or latest fashion, and telling your kids, NO is the hardest thing to do, when it just seems to easy to just stick on the credit, and have your cake and eat it, and your kids are happy.

Totally agree with you, if you can't afford, don't spend it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

you end up giving interest to shareholders

This I don't understand at all.

I go shopping; the item I want costs (say) ¥1000 whether I pay cash or plastic.

If I pay with plastic, then on the next due day that ¥1000 disappears from my bank account in just the same way that the cash would have disappeared from my purse if I had paid cash.

I don't pay interest to any shareholders. The amount I pay is the same, with the added bonus that the credit card company awards me points depending on how much I spend. The points can be exchanged for goods or coupons, which means that in effect paying by credit card is cheaper than paying cash.

how can you save if you OVERSPEND on credit.

Is this a trick question? No? Then the answer's easy; don't overspend. Whatever method of payment you use.

And lets look at Japans debt....... it has to be paid back sooner or later, and that will be by ....the consumer. Thats why they are hiking the sales tax up, and i will expect sales tax to increase much higher over the coming years.

What has that got to do with credit cards? The national debt is a completely different animal and is all to do with the govmint printing money.

I'm not an economist, but any house wife who earns $1, knows she can't spend $3

I agree. And it doesn't matter whether the $3 are paper or plastic.

 it just seems to easy to just stick on the credit

Not when you know you have to pay on the due date.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Credit cards are a rip off in Japan.

They dont allow you to pay back money over your monthly limit until they charge you interest(16%!!!)

i still have close to 40000 yen now in credit card balance which THEY DO NOT ALLOW me to pay back.

you also cannot pay back credit card debt online unlike card loans.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

cleoToday  06:44 pm JST

If I pay with plastic, then on the next due day that ¥1000 disappears from my bank account in just the same way that the cash would have disappeared from my purse if I had paid cash.

I don't pay interest to any shareholders. 

cleo

you end up giving interest to shareholders

This I don't understand at all.

Well credit card companies have to make a profit, while you can clear your monthly bill, millions of others cannot clear the balance so they incur interest. Thats how they make profits, and pay shareholders.

If you borrow 1000 yen and pay back 1000 yen the company earn nothing and they aren't lending you money out of the kindness of their hearts.

And lets look at Japans debt....... it has to be paid back sooner or later, and that will be by ....the consumer. Thats why they are hiking the sales tax up, and i will expect sales tax to increase much higher over the coming years.

What has that got to do with credit cards? The national debt is a completely different animal and is all to do with the govmint printing money.

You have a point that they print money, but you forget that debt must be paid back.

The Japanese government is in debt and is increasing the sales tax to compensate for this, so You and others have to pay more for the goods you want on credit. The government get their sales tax, guaranteed! It doesn't matter if loan company A goes bankrupt, or customer B is in so much debt that they cannot repay the loan, commit suicide, loose their home or can't fund their lifestyle they want. The government got their sales tax. Now these are extremes but people do get into a mess, and it only started off with a few thousand yen.

While you may use the example of say 1000 yen, some people may have a credit limit of a million yen +++, may become suddenly ill, loose their job and suddenly can't afford the payments that they could easily afford before.

Taxes go up, wages are stagnant, people still want to buy those nice things, but the tax increase has eaten into their earnings, and some will turn to credit cards to fund what they want with an interest rate that also eats into their purchasing power, but the government will always get their sales tax.

When a recession hits and debt it being payed off by consumers, the tax revenues will go down as people are tightening their belts and paying down their debt, and not spending.Nobody calls it credit then.

It's easy when everyone can pay 100% by the due date but sadly many cannot, and if everyone could pay 100% of the balance, then there was probably no real need for a credit card anyway after all it was only a pay day away.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They dont allow you to pay back money over your monthly limit until they charge you interest(16%!!!) 

i still have close to 40000 yen now in credit card balance which THEY DO NOT ALLOW me to pay back.

I have no idea what that means.

No matter how much or how little you use your card over the month, you get charged for how much you have spent - not a yen more, not a yen less. There is no 'monthly limit'. Unless you're fool enough to take the 'revolving' option, which is a mug's game. If you are revolving automatically, I suggest you phone your card company at the earliest opportunity and get it stopped.

If you borrow 1000 yen and pay back 1000 yen the company earn nothing and they aren't lending you money out of the kindness of their hearts.

Well they aren't charging me anything, and they give me points that turn into money, so from my perspective they are very kind. And despite my not giving them anything, they keep giving me stuff so they must think I'm a good customer. A couple of the cards I have regularly send me 5% Off/10% Off coupons plus special discounts in my birthday month, so not only do I not pay any interest, at least once a month I get to do some discount shopping if I so choose.

The Japanese government is in debt and is increasing the sales tax to compensate for this

The national debt does not come from the government overusing credit cards. It comes from politicians being incompetent and/or not caring about the state the economy will be in ten years down the road when they're retired and living off a nice padded, subsidised Diet pension. If no Japanese person ever used a credit card again, it would not affect the national debt one iota, or the sales tax.

You and others have to pay more for the goods you want on credit.

The people paying cash are paying just as much sales tax. So what does credit cards have to do with it?

It's easy when everyone can pay 100% by the due date but sadly many cannot

Not sadly - stupidly. It's easy, don't spend more than you can afford. $1, $3. We've agreed on this several times already, I don't know why you keep bringing it up.

if everyone could pay 100% of the balance, then there was probably no real need for a credit card anyway after all it was only a pay day away.

I really think you do not understand the merits of a credit card. The purpose of a credit card is not to be able to run up massive amounts of debt on luxury items. A credit card means you can make everyday purchases without needing to carry huge amounts of cash around with you. It means you can set up automatic payments of bills that go out every month, with no need to worry about remembering to go to the bank/post office/business premises on the right day to pay. Just arrange to pay it all by credit card, and make sure the bank balance is enough to cover it on the one day every month.

And when you do make a large planned purchase, you can arrange at your leisure to have the necessary money transferred from a savings account to your current account, instead of making a special trip to the bank, transporting all that money to the shops and then counting out stacks of cash at the till. Who wants to do that?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yet another tedious article about the "cashless society". It's a con, promoted by big banks because they're losing profits:

"In behavioural economics this is referred to as “nudging”. If a powerful institution wants to make people choose a certain thing, the best strategy is to make it difficult to choose the alternative."

"We can illustrate this with the example of self-checkout tills at supermarkets. The underlying agenda is to replace checkout staff with self-service machines to cut costs. But supermarkets have to convince their customers. They thus initially present self-checkout as a convenient alternative. When some people then use that alternative, the supermarket can cite that as evidence of a change in customer behaviour, which they then use to justify a reduction in checkout employees. This in turn makes it more inconvenient to use the checkout staff, which in turn makes customers more likely to use the machines. They slowly wean you off staff, and “nudge” you towards self-service."

"A cashless society brings dangers. People without bank accounts will find themselves further marginalised, disenfranchised from the cash infrastructure that previously supported them. There are also poorly understood psychological implications about cash encouraging self-control while paying by card or a mobile phone can encourage spending. And a cashless society has major surveillance implications."

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/19/cashless-society-con-big-finance-banks-closing-atms

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think cash is on the way out. Even in developing economies that are more cash-based, the use of cards and online accounts is becoming increasingly common.

Yet another tedious article about the "cashless society". It's a con, promoted by big banks because they're losing profits:

I think the real beneficiaries are government, tax authorities, police etc as electronic transactions are far easier to track. The cashless society is a boon for tax collection.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't mind cash being popular in Japan, don't see a big problem with it. The only problem is lack of flexibility. I'm going as an exchange student, and they expect me to pay for the entire stay in cash, on arrival. That's a lot of money to be travelling with, I'd prefer some other way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

cleo

The national debt does not come from the government overusing credit cards. It comes from politicians being incompetent and/or not caring about the state the economy will be in ten years down the road when they're retired and living off a nice padded, subsidised Diet pension. If no Japanese person ever used a credit card again, it would not affect the national debt one iota, or the sales tax.

Totally agree but the government do want people to spend.So they can get that tax revenue. Wether that be in cash, which you don't advocate, or by credit card. They want people to spend cash.

Cleo. Your problem is you think everyone else in japan is as good as you at paying off their credit card bills. Just because YOU can do it, doesn't mean everyone can.

BTW I've used credit cards for over 30 odd years so there is no need to try and dismiss my experience. I use a credit card to purchase a holiday, and I get free health insurance, and I also have insurance, if a company goes bankrupt, and am insured with lost or stolen goods.

Cleo while I am fully aware of all you said, I am actually discussing this from other peoples perspectives.while you totally discount the experience of millions who have got into debt, and wether through stupidity, by going on a spending spree, ignorance because young people don't have that financial life experience you have or circumstances, maybe they lost a job, sick for a while and have lost income, or suffer from a mental health condition.(hypomania) They can't control their debt or as you call it "credit", as well as you. When they got ill, the credit card companies didn't give one iota about the situation. They just wanted to restructure that debt.Not credit!

I will acknowledge, your experience, but don't for one minute assume that just because you can do it, everyone else can. You seem to be only expressing your experience from your own financial behaviour, and think everyone else should or can follow your behaviour or have your perspective and think credit is great. Sadly not everyone is as great as you cleo.

Credit is still spending more than you have, and while there are benefits for those who are good financially, there are risk for those who can't.

Personally why would anyone really want to pay 1000 yen on a credit card is beyond me.

I'd use my debit card or cash.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alfie hit the point on the head with his reference to "nudging". At least as far as what this article(haha) is about.

I believe Cleo misinterpreted the earlier comment about "trashing rooms", and believe the poster that said it may have been half asleep to even add it to the conversation, where it could be/was misconstrued, and had nothing to do with anything, regarding the article.

As for the cash vs debt card debate... I'm fully on the side of cash.

While it's great that some cardholders get "goodies" as a part of holding such and such card. Those goodies are never truly free. Whether the cost of the perks is offset by the number of people taking advantage of them(meaning the LACK of such people), or whether they are paid for in full by utilizing profits made from interest charges on the less credit worthy, or acct "service charges". Nothing is really free in life, even if Cleo feels that it enhances HER lifestyle. Someone somewhere paid for it. Were everyone to manage their finances perfectly, then there wouldn't be as much of a need for credit, and of course the "goodies" would go away as there is no one paying for them.

For years we've been fed the agenda of business, banks, and credit card issuers. Really, the banks and card issuers are more to blame for it than business, simply because they had to convince businesses to get on board by touting the "benefits" to them via poorly controlled spending habits of consumers.

For years you could buy gasoline for cheaper with cash, simply because the dealers KNEW they were getting hit with processing costs for utilizing credit card companies. In the new economy it has shifted to where the cash payer gets overcharged for goods and services, to offset the hassle of distinguishing between cash and credit purchases. We'll just jack the price on everything, in order to make sure we cover the expenses related to credit, and profit off of the cash payer. I'm not arguing whether this is "fair and just", I'm just stating the simple truth.

My largest beef with the credit issuers are the falsehoods they twist to fit their own agenda. Inconvenient pocket change? lol Faster checkout times? Hahaha haaa... ( At least they did amuse me with their pathetic round of commercials about this a while back). More secure transactions? ROFL LMAO LOLOLOLOL...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Bank of Japan (Nippon Ginko) should seriously consider dropping two (2) zeros from its currency. US$1.00 = ¥110 should be changed to US$1.00 = ¥1.1 .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

US$1.00 = ¥110 should be changed to US$1.00 = ¥1.1 .

Why? If the yen was worth 100 times what it is now, you'd have to add in a new smaller denomination to cover the smaller amounts, otherwise you wouldn't be able to give small change.

The current system, with ¥1,000 = $9 and small change handled in ¥, works fine in a decimal system. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

We'll just jack the price on everything, in order to make sure we cover the expenses related to credit, and profit off of the cash payer.

All the more reason to pay by card?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't like to carry large amounts of cash around with me, so definitely use my credit card for larger purchases, online purchases (you're mad if you use your debit card online) and when travelling but I do pay it off every month regardless. I'm happy with the extra purchase protection that credit cards offer.

From a retailers point of view, it's cheaper to have people using cards then have to pay the handling costs for large amounts of cash each day but I'm still really quite surprised how much cash has to change hands when paying for services, or doing something like buying a house here. It's crazy having people run around with large sums of money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah sure, so they can replicate North American levels of personal debt and the ever-shrinking X% can mask Japanese wage stagnation with credit just like they've done elsewhere.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"The problem I see is that a lot of shops, bars and small restaurants still don't accept credit cards, which forces customers to carry cash."

Can you believe the big Italian restaurant chain Saizeriya doesn't accept credit cards? One time I didn't have enough cash on me and that caused some problems, lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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