Electronic money use in Japan: part 1 of 2

Do you know about electronic money graph[part 1] [part 2]

DIMSDRIVE carried out a survey at the start of December to find people’s views regarding electronic money. They interviewed by means of an internet-based questionnaire 6,430 people from all over Japan, 2,736 (42.6%) male, all members of their monitor group.

The Suica system comes out tops for name recognition, but that may be because it is promoted as not just electronic money, but more importantly as a rail pass. Suica is the preferred system for issuing railway season tickets, so it gets heavily promoted in that respect, and is also often featured on in-train advertising, therefore it has very high name recognition, as can be seen here.

However, Edy scores higher as the first thing that springs to mind regarding electronic money, perhaps because the advertising for Suica is weighted towards the season ticket features, not shopping.

Mobile phones very popular gaming platform

games downloadedinfoPLANT conducted a survey regarding mobile phone game usage in Japan amongst 8,984 users of the DoCoMo iMode sevice, by offering the survey through the iMode menuing system. The questionnaire was available for a week in mid-November, and of the 8,984 respondents, 63.5% were female.

infoPLANT’s survey methods obviously indicate that they will most likely result in an over-representation of the heavy user demographic, but regardless this still presents an interesting snapshot on how some people use their mobile phones. One could argue that since a previous survey showed the majority of people were on unlimited usage plans (although the methodology of that survey was probably flawed), these consumers could more easily budget for pay games, and download them without worrying about additional transmission costs over and above the basic fee. Also note that almost all mobile phones come with built-in games, not just Tetris clones and the like, but pretty good quality commercial-grade RPGs and pet simulators. As for my own phone, I have a nice golf game, but I beat that and quit, and the shoot-em-up is no fun. I once downloaded a trial version of a pay-for game, but it took a long, long time and the game play was rather lacking, so basically I haven’t played any games at all this year.

Push To Talk needs more pushing

ITMedia reported that Push To Talk, the new service being geared up for launch right now by DoCoMo in their new 902i range, is still completely unknown to almost four in five mobile phone users. Push To Talk is a walkie-talkie-like service, just press the button and talk, sending your voice over the IP network, so it is VoIP rather than a traditional call. However, their pricing is currently set to a rather high 5 yen per push, or a more reasonable 1,000 yen per month for unlimited access. But, as we will see later, less than a quarter of mobile phone users spend more than three minutes per day talking, and only just over a tenth feel they don’t talk enough.

Infoplant just released a survey (not yet available on their web site – it seems to have been done for “Keitai Best” magazine) carried out at the end of October amongst just 400 internet users (200 of each sex) aged 15 and above who owned mobile phones. (Presumably they used their internet monitor group and chose a demographically accurate cross-section, so the figures can be trusted.)

First, regarding Push To Talk, not even 10% were familiar with the features of the service, and just under 80% had not even heard of the term. However, when the main features were explained, about 60% said they would like to use it, with the number of women wanting to use it being 9 percentage points higher.


Almost 25% of mobile users own multiple handsets

NEPRO IT co. ltd. recently performed a survey on the number of mobile phones people owned. The self-selecting prize draw survey was carried out on iMode, EZweb and Vodafone live! public web sites. 4,283 people, 60% female, replied to the survey carried out from the morning of October 6th to late into the night of the same day. 6% were 19 or under, 41% were 20 to 29, 38% were 30 to 39, and 15% 40 or older.

Q1: How many mobile phones are registered in your name? (Sample size=4,283)

One 64%
Two 17%
Three or more 5%
I have a phone but am not responsible for it (Company phone or other in family pays bill?) 12%
I don’t have a phone (How did they access the site then?) 1%
No answer 1%

Q2: Why do you have multiple phones registered in your name? (Sample size=4,283)

I only have one phone! 66%
Family use phones 16%
To keep private and business matters separate 4%
In case I cannot get a signal with the other 2%
I want to use different features in the phones 2%
To separate incoming and outgoing usage 1%
I want to use different designs or shapes 1%
Other reasons 10%


Immobile phoners

iShare Inc have once again surveyed CLUB BBQ members, this time to find out about shopping trends on their mobiles. They got 2,270 valid responses to their survey, carried out at the start of September. 60.6% of their respondents were male. iShare discovered that a lot of people did their Read more…

QR codes extremely popular

According to this survey published by infoPlant, QR codes are very well-known and widely used. One word of caution, however, is that this survey, carried out at the end of August, had the respondents self-selected from a link in the DoCoMo iMode menu system. 7,660 people completed the survey, 5,023 Read more…