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August 24, 2009
Payment and Settlement Systems Department
Bank of Japan
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The Bank of Japan has collected data on the use of electronic money for fiscal 2008 (April 2008-March 2009), as it did for fiscal 2007. The volume and value of transactions settled using electronic money continued to increase even after fiscal 2007, which is often referred to as the "year of the tipping point" for electronic money services in Japan. The total number of cards with electronic money functionality exceeded 100 million in January 2009. The venues for making payments with major brands of electronic money have been expanding nationwide. These developments suggest that electronic money is gradually strengthening its position as a retail payment instrument with the potential of further growth in the future.
The value of electronic money outstanding, however, remained considerably smaller than the value of cash in circulation or of money stock as a whole. Electronic money services do not yet seem to have had a large impact on the overall payment system or the financial system. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to continue to observe developments in this area, including how the role of electronic money evolves in retail payments in Japan.
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Payment and Settlement Systems Department, Bank of Japan
P.O. Box 30, Nihonbashi, Tokyo 103-8660, Japan
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