What's New in Payments

MUFG to use digital currency for mobile payments in Japan

MUFG digital currency finds second life as mobile payment — Nikkei Asian Review — “Users will convert funds from their bank accounts or elsewhere into the digital currency using a smartphone app. The service will use this currency in transactions, which will be handled through QR codes. Money sent via the app can be moved back into an account as cash, allowing for transfers between individuals.”




What's New in Payments

Chinese retailers shutter unmanned stores as ‘novelty wears off’

China’s unmanned store boom ends as quickly as it began — Nikkei Asian Review — “Across China, shops once considered the future of retail have been shutting their doors for good… The Chinese IT companies that entered the market used technology to remove the need for workers but may have overlooked other parts of the equation.”


What's New in Payments

Alipay and WeChat Pay to support common QR code standard for Japan

Japan to unify mobile payment codes, enlisting Chinese giants — Nikkei Asian Review — “Line and Alibaba Group Holding are among five major internet businesses from Japan and China that will standardize QR codes that are scanned to make payments via smartphones in Japan, Nikkei has learned. The others joining this undertaking are online flea market operator Mercari and mobile carrier NTT Docomo from Japan and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay from China.”


What's New in Payments

Mizuho signs up sixty banks for J Coin cryptocurrency payments launch

Mizuho to launch digital currency to promote cashless payments in March — Nikkei Asian Review — “Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a proprietary digital currency that can be used for shopping and remitted at no cost… To make use of the currency, users will download a dedicated app on their smartphone. Payments will be made using QR codes… Regional banks will be able to provide the same service under the same, yet-to-be-named brand to their customers.”


What's New in Payments

Line sets out plans to roll out mobile payments in Japan

Chat app Line plots finance ‘revolution’ with mobile payments — Nikkei Asian Review — “Line, the operator of Japan’s leading chat app, is pushing hard into the banking sphere with plans to aggressively expand in mobile payments, aiming to get its 75 million users hooked on transactions without the fees imposed by conventional banks… Line is rolling out a version of its app that will let small and midsize merchants accept QR code-based payments via Line Pay. Transaction surcharges will be waived for the first three years, and the system costs nothing to set up.”


What's New in Payments

Line Pay aims to convert 1m Japanese merchants to QR payments with free transactions for three years

Japan’s Line Pay throws down gauntlet to Alipay — Nikkei Asian Review — “Line has sought to minimize the hassle for retailers by allowing the retailer to use the service by simply downloading a free app on a smartphone… Retailers can also send messages to individual shoppers later, such as sales promotions. The service can be used free of charge for the next three years… There are also incentives for customers, offering them loyalty points valued at 3% to 5% of every purchase they make with Line Pay.”


What's New in Payments

China goes live with QR payments spending cap

China caps store mobile payments at $80 — Nikkei Asian Review — “The People’s Bank of China, the country’s central bank, implemented the caps on Sunday for different types of QR code payments, based on relative risk. For payments made by scanning a printed QR code displayed by the seller, the daily limit is set at 500 yuan (about US$80)… Such popular services as Alibaba Group Holding’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings’ WeChat Pay are affected.”


What's New in Payments

Japan’s major banks to launch QR mobile payments platform

Japanese megabanks team up on mobile payments — Nikkei Asian Review — “Japan’s three megabanks are working together to standardize a smartphone payment system using QR codes… The three banks are also looking at establishing a jointly financed company to oversee the system. Other large banks and smaller regional banks will be invited to join.”


What's New in Payments

Honda to let drivers use Alipay to make payments from cars

Honda to team up with Alibaba in connected cars — Nikkei Asian Review — “The Japanese automaker will work with the Chinese e-retailing titan’s AutoNavi business. They plan to develop a service that lets drivers make reservations using AutoNavi maps and make payments via Alibaba’s online platform Alipay. Decisions will be made soon on when to make the service available on which vehicles.”


What's New in Payments

Japanese bank demos blockchain payment solution

Japan’s big banks showcase fintech at Ceatec show — Nikkei Asian Review — “A smartphone app lets users buy MUFG Coin with yen from their bank accounts and send the digital currency to others. Remittance costs are kept low thanks to blockchain, the distributed ledger technology that underpins bitcoin. With MUFG Coin, wiring amounts of money too small to be practical under typical bank fees becomes possible, according to the lender.”



What's New in Payments

Japan’s Bic Camera to accept bitcoin nationwide

Japan’s Bic Camera to accept bitcoin nationwide — Nikkei Asian Review — “Bic Camera will allow payments in bitcoin at all locations throughout Japan as early as this month, looking to provide more options for foreign and domestic shoppers… The more-than-expected popularity of this option prompted Bic Camera to expand the system to the rest of its locations, the company says.”




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