Japanese electronic cash card users continue to decrease

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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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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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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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Season tickets main IC chip card use in Japan

Do you have any IC chip-based electronic cash cards? graph of japanese statisticsWith 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.

Demographics

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.
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RFID-enabled IC chip cards carried by over 90% of all salarymen

Hello Kitty Faraday cage for RFID-enabled cards

I feel RFID is greatly misunderstood, and deliberately misrepresented, by those with axes to grind regarding surveillance, as although the more usual passive type of RFID can technically be read from a few metres distance in ideal condition, it is very sensitive to interference from other metal items making random distance attacks infeasible. Just in case you are really paranoid, as pictured above, Kitty chan can protect you! To find out what the average Japanese does with their IC Chipped cards, JR Tokai Express Research Inc performed a survey on this very subject of IC Cards.

Demographics

Over the 30th and 31st of January 2008 330 members of the JR Tokai Express Research monitor group employed in either the private or public sector completed an online survey. 78.8% were male, 9.1% in their twenties, 38.5% in their thirties, 36.1% in their forties, 11.8% in their fifties, and 4.2% in their sixties.

I have three chipped credit cards, with one of them doubling as an employee ID card, and an ICOCA train pass so I’m actually slightly below the average.
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Biometric security for ATM users in Japan

Toppan, a large Japanese corporation, published a press release relating to a survey they performed regarding views on financial institution security and Smart Card-based services. They questioned just 416 adults from Tokyo and surrounding area by means of a private internet-based survey over a couple of days in mid-November. The detailed survey results were not published, but instead the data was presented as a report, so will be translated in that form.

Note that an IC Cash Card is the Japanese term for a SmartCard-based ATM card. This definition excludes, I believe, credit cards with Chip and Pin functionality, and is sometimes associated with extra biometrics information – a good number of the ATMs in Japan are fitted out with fingerprint or vein scanners.

The bank I am with has recently changed their rules so that when using ATMs with a standard magnetic strip-based card, only (only?) 2,000,000 yen (£10,000 or US$20,000) can be transferred to another account per day, down from 5,000,000 yen per day; the same two million yen can also be withdrawn as cash. If using a Smart Card, the amount that can be transferred or withdrawn has been raised to TEN MILLION YEN, fifty thousand pounds or one hundred thousand dollars!
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