The payments provider Worldline is expanding its services to the land of the rising sun; offering credit card payment processing for merchants across Japan.
The initial offering, which is set to launch within the first half of 2022, will address the payment needs of the Japanese merchant community and will include the ability to accept and process debit and credit cards at the point of sale (POS), applying a single point of contact for all payments.
The payments provider has announced that it will extend its services to e-commerce in the months to come, although the specifics of which are yet to be announced.
Worldline has been able to land its jump into the Japanese market due to its partnership with Vesca, the Tokyo-native network service provider (NSP) acting as the offering’s acceptance layer.
Its payment management platform will very much act as a bridge between Japanese and international payment ecosystems. Through this setup, the process of accepting a credit card will be easier for merchants, and they’ll be able to do so at a lower cost.
“This partnership will bring end-to-end advanced payment services and solutions for Japanese merchants as well as in-depth market expertise,” explains Vesca CEO Makoto Yoshida. “Furthermore, we plan to create unique segment-specific features by collaborating with our extended ecosystem of clients and partners.”
At present, Japan’s paytech is lagging somewhat behind that of its neighbours. Sixty-six per cent of China’s payments were cashless, whilst payments in South Korea are almost exclusively cashless (96 per cent).
In 2020 however, just under a third of Japan’s private consumption payments were cashless. In relation to the use of credit cards, 27 per cent of respondents reported using their cards a mere two to three times a week; being the most popular answer.
Reuters even described Japan as ‘the world’s most dedicated cash-hoarders‘.
Aside from consumer behaviour, a major hurdle for cashless payments is the up to six-week onboarding process and the cost for payment acceptance; two significant deterrents for merchants.
However, the market retains its economic maturity, and the future of Japan does look to be increasingly cashless. The country’s government continues to push initiatives designed to make cashless payments more popular, including the recent introduction of a scheme that rewards consumers when they conquer cashless.
The country’s current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his predecessor Shinzo Abe both advocated the rise of paytech, and the government is actively seeking to double its cashless payment uptake by 2025, and intends to reach an 80 per cent ratio in the long term.
“Japan is one of the most promising economies for card payments, and we’re glad to be transforming the market through our unique set-up with Vesca,” comments Roger Niederer, Chief Market Officer Merchant Services at Worldline.
“Their deep understanding of both the Japanese merchants and international payments is an asset in our partnership.”