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Apple faces local battles as it prepares global payments push


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I prefer to spend cash rather than be taken by surprise at the end of the month credit card report.

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Japan will be stubborn about this both because it is largely still a cash-based society and also it feels jealous of Apple's success in technology Japan helped invent but hasn't gotten the recognition for. We saw the same hold out with iPhones athirst; Doomo and AU saying they were not needed or wanted in Japan and then later after losing MASSIVE numbers of people to SoftBank DEMANDING the right to sell them as well. We're seeing it as well with the TPP; deny the customers the convenience of choice in favor of local, outdated industry. And, as is always the case, they'll crawl towards the docks long after the ship has left.

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We could do with payment methods that aren't controlled by the US. Otherwise companies can see their cash flow cut off at the whim of the US government.

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Ummm... Japan already has a super convenient, widely used and incredibly efficient mobile payment system.

Videos i have seen of people showing off how useful applepay is, show a system that is 2-3x slower than paying by Edy or Mobile Suica. This is not something that can be easily overcome - the issue is that mobile payments work best for small purchases, snacks, lunch etc, where people are usually in a hurry and want to get the payment done quickly.

ApplePay tries to be a complete wallet replacement - letting you set bank accounts, and forcing you to select which account at payment time, then a thumbprint scan to ensure no thief tries to buy a diamond watch with your phone.

But on purchases like that, nobody is in a hurry. Nobody is bothered by going through the motions of going through their wallet and signing a credit card receipt. In fact its almost part of the fun.

But those same extra security steps are required for small purchases, where they arent really needed. Edy can be set to a daily spending limit of 2000yen for example. If your phone gets stolen, the worst that will happen is that the thief buys some beers at a combini. This is a great system, and ApplePay looks positively painful in comparison. I can make my payment in less than a second at 7-11, and this is why ApplePay wont succeed here.

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Japan will ALWAYS be the last to change. It was the same way they joined forces to make sure the iPad didn't change the publishing world at all, because why would an industry ever change?

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afanofjapan: "Ummm... Japan already has a super convenient, widely used and incredibly efficient mobile payment system."

I agree that the current system has a number of conveniences, but keep in mind that they are convenient ONLY in Japan! Where can you use your Japanese cards (I'm not talking credit cards) or keitai saifu outside of Japan? You can't! Japan is only NOW starting to unlock cell phones after years of unwillingness to do so due to protectionism (and are still finding other ways to charge you if you try). Meanwhile you'll be able to carry your iPhone and pay that way in various countries accross the world, and need a separate thing to use the system limited to Japan. THAT is the problem (for Japan or people who come here). As much as I loathe the Olympics coming here in 2020, they may well be a force for change towards this kind of thing, if Apple plays it right and suggests that lots of people will find it convenient to be able to use the Apple Pay system while visiting for that event. So, if they pitch it to the government we may see the government in turn push businesses to adopt it. Otherwise Japan will be left in the dust yet again.

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Not to mention how Bitcoin is grown in business and consumer adoption. I was able to enjoy beer and sushi in Ginza last week - paid bitcoin with my phone.. no currency conversion. super easy.

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smithinjapan, yes you are right i cant use this system overseas. But i really, reallly hope that apple/google's slow and cumbersome payment method doesnt take over what is already a polished product here.

The very few times i am overseas spending money is not worth slowing down the rest of the year i spend here using Edy in combinis etc.

When i am overseas i will use my credit card, or cash... each of which appear to be not much slower than using Apple Pay.

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