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Recent Developments in Electronic Money in Japan

October 1, 2008
Payment and Settlement Systems Department
Bank of Japan

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Abstract

  • During fiscal 2007, the use of chip-based electronic money services marked a significant increase in Japan. The total number of cards issued by six major electronic money service providers at the end of March 2008 recorded more than 80 million, and the total value outstanding reached JPY 77.1 billion. The value and volume of transactions settled using cards reached JPY 563.6 billion and 810 million, respectively, with each total posting significant growth. This trend of increasing use of electronic money as a payment instrument can be attributed to developments such as the recent entry of new providers of electronic money services, the start of interoperability service, and the increase in the number of common terminals.
  • The value of electronic money issued and used remains rather small compared with more traditional retail payment instruments such as cash and credit cards. But it can also be said that electronic money is gradually strengthening its position with the potential of further growth in the future. It is worthwhile to observe how electronic money will evolve in the future in a competitive environment in terms of safety, efficiency, and convenience.

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Payment and Settlement Systems Department, Bank of Japan
C.P.O. BOX 203, Tokyo 100-860, Japan
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E-mail: post.payment@boj.or.jp