Sunday, May 17, 2020

Shopping in Japan, Here Are the Various Payment Methods that Apply

Just like in other countries, there are several payment methods that can be done in Japan. Although each payment method is made simple, it is difficult to choose the best payment method, because it depends on the situation. 

Cash 
Japan is synonymous with society that is so modern and accustomed to the latest technology, a sophisticated transportation system, and home to the Gundam. No wonder many people think that Japanese cash is no longer used.  
In fact, many shops in Japan, especially in rural areas and small shops only accept payment in cash, so Japan is arguably not yet a cashless society . Although one of the disadvantages of cash is the risk of money being stolen, this should not be feared in Japan, because the level of security of this country is so high.

Credit Card / Debit Card
Card payment is becoming the preferred method of payment that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It's just that card payment methods have not been widely accepted in Japan. As mentioned earlier, Japan is still a society with a cash payment system. 
Based on a study of credit card usage, as quoted from news.cardmics.com, the number of restaurants in Japan that accept credit card payments was 20.7 percent in 2015. This figure has decreased to 21 percent in 2017. The percentage is getting lower if away from big cities. 
However, don't worry, because most department stores and supermarkets, restaurant chains and minimarkets accept credit card payments. When buying tickets for the train, regular tickets are only available through payment in cash. But there are places like JR trains that accept credit card payments and provide ticket machines that accept credit cards. 
Payment of certain bills (telephone, electricity, gas, etc.) can also be done via credit cards. 
Credit cards are a convenient way to trade while in Japan. Although this method of payment is not as extensive as cash, it is considered safe to transact in places that accept credit card payments. All you have to do is check the symbol that shows that the store accepts credit card payments.


IC Card (E-money / Electronic money)
IC cards are like cash but in the form of cards. This card is different from debit cards or credit cards, because you don't need to connect e-money cards with certain bank accounts. Of course this is different from a debit card that is connected to money in a bank account. 
You just need to put some money into the card digitally. How to use it enough to paste it into the place of payment. There are two types of IC cards, they are cards that can be used for transportation and cards that cannot be used for transportation. 
1. IC Card for Transportation  
SUICA or PASMO is the most popular type of IC card available in the Tokyo area. There are also Icoca or PiTaPa cards available for the Kansai area. These cards are generally used for transportation. But actually these cards can be used as a means of payment for certain shops.
These shops usually also accept credit card payments. Although these IC cards vary depending on the region, in general they can be used throughout Japan because each IC card is made to be compatible with one another. 
Please remember when using an IC card for transportation, you can get a small discount compared to buying a physical ticket. Another advantage when using an IC card is that it is as convenient as non-cash but with advantages such as using cash. 
 2. IC cards for non-transportation
Brands like Nanaco, Rakuten Edy, and Waon, are known as non-transportation IC cards. Usually these cards are used for shopping at supermarkets and department stores. In addition, this card can also be used in restaurants and other places that accept payment by IC card. If you use it for payment while shopping, some cards, such as Nanaco, Rakuten Edy, and Waon, will collect points and can be exchanged for cash. 
Because these are non-transportation IC cards, these cards cannot be used to take trains, buses and other public transportation. In addition, a deposit with a value starting from 300 yen is required depending on the brand of card. 

Mobile Payment
At present, there are two types of mobile payments
1. Mobile Payment with QR Code
Payments using mobile applications such as PayPay, Origami Pay, WePay, Alipay, or Line Pay. This payment method will connect your debit or credit card account to the mobile application so you can pay without using a debit or credit card. Payment in this way only need to use a cellphone and scan to the QR code of the store.   
2. Mobile Payment with Electronic Wallet
Apple Pay and Google pay are seen as representatives of international brands of electronic wallet services. Players of this type of payment methods originating from Japan are Quicpay, iD, au Wallet, and others. To use this payment method, you must have a mobile phone that is equipped with a special NFC chip. With this, you can save and connect credit cards for mobile payments. 
The danger of using a physical form of credit card is reduced by the mobile payment method, because this method uses a layered protection system so that its security is guaranteed. Mobile payment options are available at leading retail stores, department stores, and supermarkets. But its use is not as extensive as payment by cash. 
In a way, this is a transaction with a credit card without the need to show the physical credit card. So, you can't use this payment method if you don't have a credit card. 
This choice is growing and starting to be widely accepted as Japan develops towards a cashless society. Consider some of the payment methods above when you shop. We look forward to further payment methods that will appear in the future.

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