Credit card usage in Japan

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How many credit cards do you have? graph of japanese statisticsAlthough most guides to Japan tell you that credit cards are not widely accepted in Japan, that is becoming less and less of a problem every year as people start using credit cards more often. This recent survey from MyVoice into credit card usage, the second time this has been conducted, shows how monthly spending averages are increasing.

Demographics

Over the first five days of March 2008 14,886 members of the MyVoice internet community completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 54% of the sample were female, 2% in their teens, 15% in their twenties, 38% in their thirties, 29% in their forties, and 16% in their fifties.

This year I’ve just got a new card from Conan (the DIY store, not the barbarian or the detective) and I’ve quit using but not got round to cancelling my Asahi Bank Visa which used to be Miffy-branded, but then they changed the design to a boring floppy-eared rabbit photo without telling me. I also want to apply for an Daiei credit card as they do Hello Kitty branding, so getting a revoltingly pink one for use overseas would be rather entertaining.

I also have a gold card from my employer, but it’s pretty useless with the only bonus being free entry into rather naff gold card lounges at airports, and as I have to use it for business trip expenses which they don’t refund until after the statement comes, the company gets a percentage of the money spent in fees and doesn’t need to pay the employees for about two months after the expense.

If you want to look more at Japanese credit card designs, I’ve found two galleries, Credit Card Navi and Credit Card Design.

Research results

Q1: How many credit cards do you have? (Sample size=14,886)

None15.4%
One17.4%
Two18.5%
Three or more48.7%

The number carrying three or more has increased 10 percentage points since the last survey two years ago, but on the other hand the number carrying none has also slightly increased, up half a percentage point.

Q2: Do you have a gold card? (Sample size=credit card holders)

Yes21.1%
No77.8%
No answer1.1%

Q3: From which issuers are your credit cards from? (Sample size=credit card holders, multiple answer)

JCB47.9%
Saison31.0%
Mitsui Sumitomo Visa26.5%
Aeon24.1%
NICOS20.1%
DC16.4%
OMC14.5%
UC12.4%
Orico10.4%
UFJ8.1%
Life7.7%
Idemitsu7.0%
JACCS5.9%
Local bank3.8%
American Express3.1%
City2.7%
GE1.6%
Diners’ Club1.4%
Other31.2%
No answer0.7%

Q4: Which issuer’s credit card do you use the most? (Sample size=credit card holders)

JCB21.7%
Mitsui Sumitomo Visa14.4%
Saison10.9%
Aeon7.4%
DC5.2%
NICOS5.2%
OMC4.3%
UC3.5%
Orico3.4%
UFJ2.2%
Life1.6%
Idemitsu1.2%
American Express0.9%
JACCS0.8%
Local bank0.7%
City0.5%
GE0.4%
Diners’ Club0.3%
Other15.1%
No answer0.4%

Q5: For the credit card you use the most in Q4, which of the following uses do you put it to? (Sample size=credit card holders, multiple answer)

Home electricals, furniture52.1%
Clothes50.7%
Daily necessities, home accessories45.0%
Communications fees44.1%
Travel, leisure fees41.1%
Food and drink39.7%
Hobby, pleasure-related purchases, payments38.7%
Books, CDs, DVDs, etc35.0%
Food ingredients34.6%
Fuel27.5%
Heat and light27.2%
Other10.6%
No answer0.6%

The usage rate is up around 5 percentage points for all categories since the last survey two years ago.

Q6: About how much do you charge to all your credit cards in total each month? (Sample size=credit card holders)

Up to 3,000 yen8.5%
3,000 to 4,999 yen6.1%
5,000 to 9,999 yen11.3%
10,000 to 19,999 yen14.9%
20,000 to 29,999 yen12.7%
30,000 to 39,999 yen9.9%
40,000 to 49,999 yen8.5%
50,000 to 69,999 yen9.7%
70,000 to 99,999 yen6.8%
100,000 yen or more11.0%
No answer0.5%

Q7: Within the last year, have you signed up for or cancelled a credit card agreement? (Sample size=credit card holders)

Signed up only23.7%
Cancelled only4.7%
Both signed up and cancelled8.0%
Neither signed up nor cancelled62.9%
No answer0.7%
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1 Comment »

  1. September 26, 2012 @ 09:47

    This is the right site for anyone who wants to understand this topic.
    You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa).

    You definitely put a new spin on a subject that has been written
    about for years. Great stuff, just great!

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