Electronic cash most convenient for convenience stores


The oddly-named Softbrain Field Co Ltd (a seller of consumer data collected via users scanning receipts for points) recently conducted a survey into electronic cash usage.

I use my Suica card on my smartphone, and WAON plastic – I’ve tried migrating it to my phone, but I need to input a phone number to register it, but I cannot remember what one I used… I auto-charge my WAON; this feature is that when the balance falls below 3,000 yen, if I use at certain shops, mainly Aeon group companies, it automatically refills with another 3,000 yen. I don’t know if Suica offers that feature on their mobile app, as it has an utterly dreadful interface.

Here’s a WAON train with their mascot dog, although you cannot use WAON to ride a train:

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Almost all users satisifed with PASMO

How convenient do you think the PASMO service is? graph of japanese opinionWith PASMO, a system allowing one electronic ticket to be used throughout almost all the public transport lines operated by many different companies, both rail and bus, throughout Tokyo and its environs, being recently introduced on Monday the 18th of March 2007, japan.internet.com reported on a survey conducted by Cross Marketing Inc on the Friday and Saturday of the same week as it was launched (ie the 22nd and 23rd of March) into the PASMO service.


300 internet users resident in the Tokyo area completed the survey. The group was split 50:50 male and female for each age group, with 20.0% in their teens, 20.0% in their twenties, 20.0% in their thirties, 20.0% in their forties, and 20.0% in their fifties. It is not stated how many were regular train users.

I’m resident in the Kansai area, and although there is a degree of sharing between the ex-public JR lines and the private operators, the main thing missing, which PASMO provides to the capital dwellers, is the ability to carry just one card with all my season tickets gathered together on it. At the moment I have three different ones, and only one is IC-based, as one of the lines I travel on is just introducing its IC commuting ticket, and another has instead of a season ticket a capped pay-as-you-go (actually pay-after-you-go) scheme that offers discounts on frequently-used routes that add up to never being charged more than a standard magnetic-type pass holder. In addition, carrying three active IC chips, plus my work IC chipped ID card, would mean I’d no doubt confuse the ticket gates no end if I accidentally let the wrong card be read.
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