This year, Japan’s Golden Week holiday (a 10-day celebration from 27 April to 6 May) will be used to incentivise cashless payments across the country.
Japan will run a campaign across the 10 days called The Cashless Week, run jointly by the industry ministry and the Payments Japan Association, which consists of companies and municipalities.
The initiative, announced on Wednesday 13 March by the industry ministry, will involve businesses offering reward points and coupons to those who choose cashless payment methods such as cards or payment apps.
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40 businesses are participating, including Japan’s three megabanks: Mitsubishi, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho. Credit card companies and firms that operate via smartphones though QR codes will also be involved.
While some areas in Asia, such as Singapore, have become almost entirely cashless, alternative payment methods haven’t taken off as much in Japan: in 2016, only 20% of payments were cashless. It is hoped the celebration will encourage use of quick, easy payment methods which in turn spurs on commerce.