In Japan, 62 percent of consumer payments are in cash, compared to 38 percent in China and 23 percent in the US. But that is likely to change in the coming decade.
The Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten announced that it will be bringing a new payment app to market that appears to be able to support crypto. The Rakuten Pay mobile app will be released on March 18, according to the firm`s 2018 earnings release which was published on 12 February. Sources who have seen the structure of this new app are now saying that is seems to support cryptocurrency payments in addition to fiat. The company released presentation material that coincided with the full year 2018 usual release of details on the business, with a comment that states, “all payment solutions embedded into one platform.”
As part of this payment system, the subsidiary named “Spotlight” will also include the prepaid card service, Rakuten Edy. The presentation release says that the Edy system will be an updated app and by all indications will support QR code payments. Although the app does not specifically say that it incorporates crypto, the company has said that “all payment solutions” will be supported by the platform.
As most of us living in Japan know, the country has held on to cash as a means of payment. This is an issue that the Japanese government has taken upon itself to address. In 2014, Rakuten acquired Japanese crypto exchange Everybody`s Bitcoin for $2.4 million in a key deal. There have been reports that the firm might move into the cryptocurrency exchange industry as it believes that payments in e-commerce and P2P will grow in the future, according to sources.
In March of 2015, the firm announced that it will accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. With the number of older Japanese now turning their wealth and savings over to their children and grandchildren, Japan is a country, 127 million strong, that has upside potential for modern payment systems that the younger Japanese consumers will surely embrace in the next 10 years.