Japanese average three credit cards in their wallets

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@nifty recently published a report looking at credit and point cards.

I normally carry five credit cards with me, along with probably close to 10 credit card-sized point cards. Note that I don’t know if this survey included cards registered in mobile phones with Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Japan’s own Osaifu Keitai system. Now I think about it, I’ve never seen a survey on that, although I’ve seen a number on electronic cash including mobile phone-based systems. I’ll have a search later this week and see what I can find.

For point cards, I’ve got one (d Point from Docomo) that is also a smartphone app, but I only use the physical version, and I have two virtual-only card apps (Tokyu Hands and Afternoon Tea).

By the way, if you live in Japan you must get yourself an electronic superstore point card at the very least; there’s 8% to 10% point back, and Yodobashi Camera’s online store beats Amazon easily on price once you factor in the points, and most of its delivery is free. I also would trust Yodobashi, Bic Camera etc, to install a washing machine or the like; my image of Amazon is that they use a regular delivery service that will just dump the box on your doorstep. (This is most likely wrong, of course, but that’s just how I imagine things!)

Let’s for a change use one of my own photos; here is a railway and department store company’s advert for their credit card; note the unconscious sexism with the boy kitten commuting, the girl kitten going shopping.

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Credit cards held by 9 in 10 Japanese

How many credit cards do you have? graph of japanese statisticsThis is a regular topic for surveys here, so here is DIMSDRIVE Research’s latest look at credit cards.

Demographics
Betwen the 10th and 26th of February 2009 11,961 members of the DIMSDRIVE Monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.1% of the sample were male, 1.0% in their teens, 12.6% in their twenties, 33.2% in their thirties, 31.0% in their forties, 15.3% in their fifties, and 6.9% aged sixty or older. Note that since this is a PC internet-based online survey, there will be a bit of bias in the sample towards higher-earning households.

“Foreigners can’t get credit cards” is one of the most popular fallacies in Japan. It is true that foreigners, especially those younger, working on jobs with yearly contracts, and with no credit history in Japan do find it difficult, if not impossible, to get one, but there is no credible evidence of systematic discrimination against foreigners, as my walletful of Japanese plastic will attest to. I have experienced anomalies, however, such as when both my wife and I applied for a UFJ card, the bank that provides my mortgage and that I pay my salary into, and she got four times the credit limit that I got, despite zero salary!

The latest credit card I got was a Toho Cinema’s MasterCard, which is good value if you’re a regular cinema goer – six visits and you get the seventh visit free, and even discount tickets bought elsewhere count toward the six movies, and their online booking system is very smooth and bilingual.

Regarding Q3 and few being interested in card design, I actually cancelled a card because they stopped putting Miffy on the front… I also want to get a loud Hello Kitty card just to use abroad!

Have you ever been refused for a Japanese credit card?

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Credit card usage in Japan

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.
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Japanese still wary about credit cards online

Feel reluctance to using your credit card online? graph of japanese opinionJust over a month ago japan.internet.com reported on a survey by JR Tokai Express Research into online payments. Towards the end of June they got responses from 330 internet users; 64.8% were male, 14.2% in their twenties, 29.1% in their thirties, 34.8% in their forties, 17.9% in their fifties, and 3.9% in their sixties.

I’m not really sure why people feel such reluctance to using their credit card online, and the column makes no mention of the reasons either. Perhaps it is an issue of trust, or perhaps it is just a general sense of the internet being dangerous. I reacon that the net, SLL in particular, is safer than the average shop, and the danger of hacking web sites can result in data leaking from offline as well as online purchases.
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