Japanese carrier KDDI to pilot blockchain coupons that shoppers can redeem using biometrics in stores

KDDI and Hitachi pilot finger vein biometrics for redeeming coupons in stores — KDDI (translation) — “The user can authenticate himself by holding the finger registered on the authentication infrastructure, so it is not necessary to present the coupon at the store, and the coupon can be used even without the smartphone… Since coupon usage information recorded in the blockchain is extremely difficult to tamper with, it is easy to share coupon usage history securely and reliably between KDDI and affiliated stores, and payment according to the number of coupon users is highly accurate.”


Line sets out plans to roll out mobile payments in Japan

Chat app Line plots finance ‘revolution’ with mobile payments — Nikkei Asian Review — “Line, the operator of Japan’s leading chat app, is pushing hard into the banking sphere with plans to aggressively expand in mobile payments, aiming to get its 75 million users hooked on transactions without the fees imposed by conventional banks… Line is rolling out a version of its app that will let small and midsize merchants accept QR code-based payments via Line Pay. Transaction surcharges will be waived for the first three years, and the system costs nothing to set up.”


SoftBank to enter Japanese mobile payments market with Paytm technology and three years’ free processing offer

SoftBank and Yahoo Japan JV to launch ‘PayPay’, barcode-based smartphone payment services in collaboration with India’s Paytm in the fall — SoftBank — “PayPay Corporation, a joint venture established by SoftBank Corp and Yahoo Japan Corporation, today announced that the company will launch ‘PayPay’ smartphone payment services using barcodes (QR code) in fall 2018. PayPay Corporation will team up with India’s largest digital payment company Paytm, a SoftBank Vision Fund portfolio company, to utilize Paytm’s technology and expertise in mobile payments… The service will be free to affiliate stores for the first three years from its launch.”


SoftBank and Paytm to launch mobile payments service in Japan?

SoftBank plans payments service for Japan by year-end — Bloomberg — “The service, a collaboration with Indian startup Paytm, will make extensive use of artificial intelligence for mobile payments and other financial services, the people said, asking to not be identified as the plans are private. An announcement is imminent, they said. Dozens of Paytm employees are working in Tokyo on getting the service up and running, one of the people said.”


Palm vein biometric payments to be pilot tested in Japanese convenience stores

Aeon and Fujitsu launch field trial of cardless payments using biometric authentication technology — Fujitsu — “Aeon Credit Service and Fujitsu will begin a field trial of a cardless payment system using Fujitsu’s palm vein biometric authentication technology. Starting in September 2018, the trial will take place in selected Ministop convenience stores. This initiative will be Japan’s first example of palm vein authentication-type cardless payments at actual retail stores.”


Line Pay aims to convert 1m Japanese merchants to QR payments with free transactions for three years

Japan’s Line Pay throws down gauntlet to Alipay — Nikkei Asian Review — “Line has sought to minimize the hassle for retailers by allowing the retailer to use the service by simply downloading a free app on a smartphone… Retailers can also send messages to individual shoppers later, such as sales promotions. The service can be used free of charge for the next three years… There are also incentives for customers, offering them loyalty points valued at 3% to 5% of every purchase they make with Line Pay.”


JCB to add support for Google Pay in Japan

JCB to offer Google Pay in Japan — JCB — “JCB will enable Google Pay for in-store payments in Japan through its QuicPay contactless payment solution. At launch, Google Pay users will be able to make payments on their enrolled JCB credit, debit, or prepaid card at convenience stores, supermarkets, drugstores, and other shops where QuicPay is accepted and online wherever JCB is accepted. Credit, debit, and prepaid cards can be enrolled using the Google Pay app on Osaifu Keitai supported devices with Android OS 5.0 or higher version.”


Google Pay adds support for Japanese payment cards

Now you can add Suica and Waon to Google Pay in Japan — Google — “Starting today, you can add and manage your Suica and Waon cards in Google Pay if you live in Japan and have an Osaifu-Keitai eligible phone. This means four major Japanese prepaid e-money cards — Nanaco, Rakuten Edy, Suica and Waon — can all be used with Google Pay. You’ll be able to pay with Google Pay at the hundreds of locations that accept any of these cards, plus pay on transit anywhere Suica is accepted.”



JCB to pilot biometric payment cards in Japan

JCB pilot of Japan’s first fingerprint authentication chip card — JCB — “Users first record one or more fingerprints for authentication purposes. When they want to buy something, they need only touch the fingerprint sensor on the card’s lower right corner with their finger so as to authenticate payment. The fingerprint record is only kept in the card, and given that fingerprint authentication is also done on the card, merchants do not need any further equipment to accept payment.”


Japanese airline ANA to enter mobile payments market

Japan airline ANA aims to build digital payments business — Financial Times — “The plan is part of a broader digital push by ANA, which hopes to build on data collected from the 31m users of its airline miles to provide a range of services including real estate, insurance and health to consumers across Japan… ‘We are aiming for ANA’s version of Alibaba’s Alipay,’ Shinya Katanozaka, ANA’s chief executive, said in an interview.”


Japanese banks to begin QR mobile payments pilot

Japan’s megabanks aim to introduce unified smartphone payment system — The Mainichi — “MHFG announced that it will soon embark on a verification test of smartphone payments with Toho Bank, headquartered in Fukushima Prefecture, using the barcodes. It is thought that the results of the test will be used to create uniform standards for the two-dimensional barcodes that are currently being mulled by the three banking groups.”


Apple’s Gymkit with NFC begins to gain traction

GymKit continues global expansion with new announcement from Life Fitness — 9to5Mac — “Earlier today, Technogym announced that it has deployed some 5,000 GymKit-enabled cardio machines since November. Following that announcement, Life Fitness announced this evening that it is expanding its rollout of GymKit equipment around the world… Life Fitness says that its Fitness IFC location in Hong Kong and Anytime Fitness Japan’s Ebisu location in Tokyo will be the first locations to add the new machinery, with other locations following as time progresses.”


UnionPay sets out its mobile payments rollout plans

UnionPay International launches mobile payment service platform to accelerate rolling out of its mobile payment worldwide — UnionPay — “UnionPay International will introduce Huawei Pay to the global markets this year, and Russia is expected to be the first country outside mainland China where Huawei Pay will be launched. In addition, UnionPay QR code payment will be available in Tajikistan, Japan, Cambodia and Suriname this year… UnionPay International is working with major institutions in Hong Kong, Kenya, and Nepal in jointly developing the international version of the UnionPay app.”


Japanese banks to roll out blockchain-based instant payments

Ripple powered mobile app to provide on-demand domestic payments in Japan — Ripple — “MoneyTap allows the bank consortium customers to make instant domestic payments and only requires a bank account, phone number, or QR code… The Japan bank consortium, led by SBI Ripple Asia, is comprised of 61 banks covering more than 80% of all banking assets in Japan… Three members of the Japan bank consortium: SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank will be the first to go live on the mobile app in autumn of 2018. This will be followed by a staggered roll out to the rest of consortium.”



Japanese bank to issue digital currency that cuts transaction costs

Japan’s biggest bank is releasing its own cryptocurrency in March — Investopedia — “The MUFG coin will have parity with the Japanese yen and will be rolled out to employees of the financial services group first. It will enable standard transactions, such as shopping or transfer of money between individuals (for example, splitting of a bill after a meal or drinks), at much lower costs as compared to credit cards.”


Japanese NFC pioneer NTT Docomo to introduce QR code payments

NTT Docomo to start QR code payment — NHK — “Major Japanese mobile carrier NTT Docomo says its subscribers will be able to pay at stores using a QR code… The payments will be added to a monthly bill, or deducted from a credit card. Subscribers will have to download an app on their smartphone to use the service. It will be available at some 19,000 retailers and restaurants nationwide. Docomo says that figure will rise to 100,000 in a year.”


Messaging service Line looks to cryptocurrencies for payments

Line explores cryptocurrencies for payment services, sources say — Bloomberg — “The messaging provider is in discussions with multiple companies on using cryptocurrencies for payment services including Line Pay, said the people, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public. The broader goal is to create products that keep users within Line’s ecosystem and keep them coming back to the app, increasing ‘stickiness,’ they said.”


JCB to trial biometric technology that uses visible light to read palm prints and vein patterns

JCB to test multipurpose biometric authentication for potential launch of authentication and payment scheme using visible light palm authentication — JCB — “JCB will be running a trial of multipurpose server-based visible light palm authentication in February at JCB headquarters in Tokyo, Japan… The trial will focus on testing technical aspects during the registration and payment flow: capturing customer palm print and vein patterns with a smartphone camera, storing the patterns on a server, performing authentication, and returning the results to the smartphone.”


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