Archive for e-money

Sales tax increase, electronic cash and railway fares

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Do you use electronic cash? graph of japanese statisticsFor their report on goo Research’s fourth regular survey into electronic money, japan.internet.com took a look at an interesting aspect, the potential for discounted rail fares when using electronic cash.

Demographics

Between the 10th and 12th of February 2014 1,078 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 58.5% of the sample were male, 0.5% in their teens, 11.6% in their twenties, 22.4% in their thirties, 32.6% in their forties, and 33.0% aged fifty or older.

With sales tax going up from 5% to 8% in April, although currently all train tickets are rounded to the nearest 10 yen, some transport operators are planning on increasing fares by exactly 3% (actually by 2.857%, but you know what I mean!) then rounded to the nearest yen, but only for electronic cash users. As most of the ticket vending machines cannot handle one and five yen coins, for cash users the tax increase will be rounded up to the nearest ten yen.
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Electronic cash mainly used for train tickets

Do you use electronic money? graph of japanese statisticsjapan.internet.com recently reported on a survey by goo Research into electronic cash, and found that the most common usage was where being quick was important, such as at train stations, convenience stores, and small transactions to avoid fighting with change.

Demographics

Between the 17th and 19th of April 2013 1,068 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.4% of the sample were male, 16.3% in their teens, 18.3% in their twenties, 21.9% in their thirties, 16.2% in their forties, 15.6% in their fifties, and 11.7% aged sixty or older.

The numbers do suggest that electronic money is well-established here in Japan. I use one card, only, Hankyu Stacia, from a local railway, department store, shopping centre, baseball team, hotel etc operator, mostly for saving me fiddling about at ticket machines, but also occasionally at convenience stores and rarely at vending machines. It also has the benefit (from my point of view, at least) of being a post-pay system – there is no stored money; they are closer to credit card transactions. Mind you, given that most if not all electronic cash cards tied to credit cards have auto-charging features (that is, when your stored balance gets below a certain point when you pay for something, a debit from your credit card account is automatically added to your stored balance) the benefits of post-pay are I suppose minimal!
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Electronic cash usage amongst Tokyo salarymen

Which e-money style would you like to use in the future? graph of japanese statisticsA recent survey from goo Research into electronic money used a rather narrow demographic of young male salarymen to produce its results.

Demographics

Between the 26th and 28th of July 2011 1,006 male members of the goo Reseach monitor group who lived in the Tokyo metropolitan area and were in full-time employment and had credit cards completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sample was 100% male, with 25.1% aged between 30 and 34, 25.1% between 35 and 39, 25.0% between 40 and 44, and 24.8% between 45 and 49 years old.

My main credit card also works for electronic cash and my train ticket in postpay mode. I’m also very aware of gathering points, as at Hankyu group shops they print out your current point totals on the card when you shop. For my other credit cards, points are only printed on the monthly statements, so I tend to ignore them.

Just as a note, prepay systems are where you fill up your card with cash (some systems automatically debit your credit card) then spend the balance sitting in the card. Postpay systems are more like ordinary credit cards; there is no cash in your card, and at the end of the month you get a statement summarising all your transactions. I’m a postpay fan myself.
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Just over two in five Japanese know PayPal

Do you know PayPal? graph of japanese statisticsgoo Research recently conducted a survey into online cash transfer services, the results of which were reported on by japan.internet.com.

Demographics

Between the 1st and 5th of July 2011 1,095 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.9% of the sample were male, 16.5% in their teens, 18.1% in their twenties, 21.5% in their thirties, 16.3% in their forties, 15.6% in their fifties, and 12.1% aged sixty or older.

I use PayPal as a holding account for receiving payments from advertising then paying out for online services, which seems to work out very well as my miscellaneous income nicely balances out with my outgoings such as web hosting.

I translated another similar survey on PayPal about a year ago, and as can be seen the usage and awareness of PayPal has marginally increased since then.
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Japanese electronic cash card users continue to decrease

How much per month do you spend using your IC card e-cash? graph of japanese statisticsThe 16th regular survey from goo Research into electronic money found that the number of users continues a slide first highlighted in the 15th regular survey, although the report on japan.internet.com does not speculate at what might be the cause.

Demographics

Over the 6th and 7th of July 2010 1,156 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.1% of the sample were male, 16.5% in their teens, 19.6% in their twenties, 20.8% in their thirties, 15.8% in their forties, and 27.2% aged fifty or older.

My IC card cash gets used on public transport and convenience stores only. All the other shops that accept it also accept the credit card portion, and most of them also award 3% points instead of just 1%, so it’s an easy choice. Furthermore, they more often than not don’t even ask for a PIN when using credit, so the extra effort required is minimal.
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RFID IC card readers owned by one in five Japanese IC card users

Do you have a contactless electronic cash card reader/writer? graph of japanese statisticsFrom the fifteen regular survey by goo Research into electronic money japan.internet.com chose to focus on ownership of IC card readers and writers.

Demographics

Between the 23rd and 26th of April 2010 1,085 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.7% of the sample were male, 16.3% in their teens, 18.2% in their twenties, 21.7% in their thirties, 16.1% in their forties, and 27.6% aged fifty or older.

Although the security of the IC chip itself within most Japanese credit cards and mobile phones is well proven, thus by extension on the reader devices, I am unaware of how good or bad the security on the surrounding applications are. Regardless, a number of the higher-end notebook computers these days come with a built-in IC card reader chip so that online shopping checkout can be paid for by electronic money on either a mobile phone or a credit card.
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Rapid payment, points systems key attractions of electronic money

Do you have contactless IC card-type of electronic cash? graph of japanese statisticsThe next milestone for electronic cash, the subject of a recent survey from goo Research (the 14th in the regular series) and reported on by japan.internet.com, is two-thirds of the sample having experienced electronic cash, a figure which should be reached by summer, I suspect.

Demographics

Between the 15th and 18th of February 2010 1,086 members of the goo Research monitor panel completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.8% of the sample were male, 15.9% in their teens, 18.0% in their twenties, 21.5% in their thirties, 16.3% in their forties, and 28.3% aged fifty or older.

Note that the survey is looking only at credit card form-factor cash, not IC chips embedded into mobile phones.

I use mine mostly for trains and in-station shops, as it doesn’t come out of my monthly budget. When I first got my card I did use it at a restaurant and book store, but I found out that thrice as many points were on offer if I used the credit card function instead!
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Electronic cash usage rates slowly creeping upwards

How long is it since you first started using electronic cash? graph of japanese statisticsAccording to the 13th regular electronic cash survey from goo Research and reported on by japan.internet.com, both the percentage of card holders and the frequency of usage is increasing, but over the last year the change has been almost within the margin of error for these surveys.

Research results

Between the 30th of November and the 4th of December 2009 1,092 members of the goo Research internet monitor group completed a private online questionnaire. 53.6% of the sample were male, 16.1% in their teens, 18.7% int heir twenties, 21.7% in their thirties, 15.8% in their forties, and 27.7% aged fifty or older.

I’m really getting quite into my Stacia card, with most days seeing me buy a morning snack at a convenience store on the way to work, and at the weekends getting a bottle of water from a vending machine or a station kiosk. It’s easier to budget (or should that be cheat on my allowance?) too, as I don’t end up wasting my cash on lots of fiddly things.
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Majority of mobile phones now have IC chips

Have you used your mobile phone's Osaifu Keitai functionality? graph of japanese statisticsIn the twelveth regular survey into electronic cash, conducted by goo Research and reported on by japan.internet.com, it is now not just credit card electronic cash that has passed the 50% penetration mark, but also mobile phones have reached that milestone, although the majority of the mobile phone contactless IC chips are lying idle.

Demographics

Between the 25th and 30th of September 2009 1,094 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.9% of the sample were male, 16.5% in their teens, 18.2% in their twenties, 21.2% in their thirties, 16.5% in their forties, and 27.5% aged fifty or older.

I don’t have an electronic cash-capable phone, but I recently bit the bullet and went for a smart card-based season ticket plus electronic cash functionality (Hankyu Stacia) and I must say it’s rather handy, although they have a horrendously unnecessarily complicated dual (could even be triple) parallel point system, although on my very first statement I got no points at all…
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Quicker payments is electronic cash’s main attraction in Japan

Do you have a contactless IC chip e-cash card? graph of japanese statisticsAnother regular survey today from goo Research, this time being the 10th electronic cash survey, as reported on by japan.internet.com.

Demographics

Between the 1st and 4th of June 2009 1,106 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.2% of the sample were male, 16.6% in their teens, 18.4% in their twenties, 21.2% in their thirties, 16.3% in their forties, and 27.5% aged fifty or older.

The only electronic cash I use is at the work canteen and shop, which isn’t really electronic cash, I would argue; it uses the corporate credit card and gets charged through to my credit card just like a normal transaction – electronic cash to me has a rechargeable sum of cash stored in the card that gets subtracted from as you use. However, I don’t think this survey made such a subtle distinction.

Note that the survey concentrates on chipped credit cards, not mobile phones with the same chips.
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