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Are Japanese averse to using credit cards online?

9:06 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Hi there,

I was wondering if there are anyone here selling to the Japanese market.

I read somewhere that they are averse to using credit cards for online purchases.

In your experience, how true is that?

Thanks in advance.

7:15 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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While I've always assumed that the use of credit cards is widespread in Japan, I can offer a curious datapoint... I sometimes shop at a local (San Diego) Japanese market which is a branch of a well-known market in Japan. Most of the customers are, of course Japanese, and many I assume are Japanese citizens.

Whenever I go there, I am struck by the number of cash transactions. Somebody always produces a wad of 100's at the checkout counter. In an American food market, this would be an anomoly. At this market it is the norm.

8:32 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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We sell services (hotel reservations) to the Japanese market (they are one of several markets we target). The 3 ways they can pay are online with a credit card, through PayPal, or by faxing us their credit card information. Most choose to pay directly online with their credit card.

Of course, we have no idea how many more reservations we might get if we offered a way of paying cash.

8:37 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I work for a Japanese company, and travel to Tokyo regularly. Remember that my experiences are with Tokyo only. That's like judging all of the US from NYC.

I find that many vendors just plain don't take credit cards. I've learned to take a big wad of cash with me when I go.

However, they are rapidly starting to adopt electronic payment systems, like SUICA (controversional WP link [en.wikipedia.org] JR Train swipe cards -like MetroCards), and the use of debit-style cards is rapidly rising.

I don't think that they are averse to using cards online, but they don't have the social infrastructure that you see in the US that makes it so predominant here.

I expect that to change soon. Japan is always changing.

5:33 am on Mar 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Some stats

Q1: Select the way you most often pay for goods or contents, etc bought online. (Sample size=313)
Credit card 72.8%
Cash on delivery 8.9%
Bank or post office transfer (ATM or branch) 7.0%
Bank or post office transfer (online) 4.5%
Pay at convenience store 6.1%
Direct transfer from bank account 0.3%
Edy, WebMoney or other electronic cash 0.3%
Net Debit 0.0%
Other 0.0%


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