With the majority of Japanese now carrying credit card form factor contactless IC chip-based RFID electronic cash, this recent survey from goo Research reported on by japan.internet.com into electronic cash (their eighth regular survey into the topic) gave some clues as to how people use them.
Between the 24th and 27th of March 2009 1,093 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.8% of the sample were male, 16.5% in their teens, 18.4% in their twenties, 21.6% in their thirties, 15.9% in their forties, and 27.6% aged fifty or older.
I get the headline from looking at Q1SQ1 and Q1SQ2 together. The most common use for cards is for public transportation, yet the majority spend under 3,000 yen a month, which suggests just very occasional payment for train usage. However, pre-paid season tickets with electronic money functions are the norm for many commuters, and as 3,000 yen would barely cover even the cheapest season ticket, I can only conclude that people are not counting the cost of their season ticket within their monthly spend. Indeed, I would have liked to have seen the survey differentiate between season tickets and pay-as-you-go usage on public transport.
Q1: Do you have one or more credit card form factor contactless IC chip-based electronic cash? (Sample size=1,093)
Yes (to SQs) 53.5% Used to, but not now 4.1% No, never 39.4% Don’t know what contactless IC chip electronic money is 2.9%
Q1SQ1: What do you use your credit card form factor contactless IC chip-based electronic cash for? (Sample size=585, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage Public transport (bus, train, etc) 387 66.2% Convenience store 279 47.7% In-station shop, kiosk 194 33.2% Vending machine 142 24.3% Supermarket 116 19.8% Restaurant 44 7.5% Drug store 43 7.4% Electrical superstore 42 7.2% Fast food shop 40 6.8% Bookshop 39 6.7% Cafe, coffee shop 35 6.0% Online shopping 20 3.4% Department store 17 2.9% Taxi 11 1.9% Work, school dining hall, etc 7 1.2% Hospital 2 0.3% Other 9 1.5%
Q1SQ2: On average, how much do you spend in total each month using your credit card form factor contactless IC chip-based electronic cash? (Sample size=585)
Under 1,000 yen 25.2% 1,000 to 1,999 yen 18.0% 2,000 to 2,999 yen 14.7% 3,000 to 4,999 yen 15.0% 5,000 to 9,999 yen 11.5% 10,000 to 29,999 yen 10.8% 30,000 to 49,000 yen 2.0% 50,000 to 99,999 yen 1.1% 100,000 yen or more 1.7%