The World Expo 2025 in the Japanese city of Osaka will be the first world’s fair to be entirely cashless and is developing a dedicated blockchain-enabled Expo Digital Wallet that visitors will be able to use to make contactless payments with their smartphone both inside and outside the venue as well as after the event.
Expo visitors will also receive loyalty points for using the digital wallet and be able to make QR code-enabled payments with their smartphone or use their own physical or digital credit or debit card, according to local media reports.
Visitors will be able to opt to purchase a dedicated prepaid card they can use to make on-site purchases during the event.
“Visitors to the next World Expo should expect to see no cash changing hands in restaurants and shops at the exhibition site, as the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to make the Expo a cashless world’s fair for the first time in the event’s history,” Nikkei Asia reports.
“With as many as 28 million visitors expected, the Expo will be a huge cashless society experiment.
“Credit cards, prepaid cards and mobile payments will all be accepted. Prepaid cards will be available for those who do not own a smartphone.
“A blockchain-based mobile payment app, the Expo Digital Wallet, is also in the works. The app will allow the user to add money to the app via credit card, electronic money or bank transfer.
“The app will also be usable for purchase[s] outside the Expo venue and after the event. Users of the app will earn points redeemable for merchandise and special offerings.
“The Japanese government hopes to raise the share of cashless private expenditures in Japan to 40% of the total, up from 30% at present.”
The six-month World Expo 2025 will take place between April and October 2025 with participants from more than 150 countries and regions worldwide.
Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry launched the Cashless project to promote cashless payments in October 2019, offering discounts to consumers using a card or mobile phone to make in-store purchases.
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