Japan’s transportation industry has been leading the nation’s ongoing efforts to transform into a cashless society. In early June, two local e-commerce and transport industry giants collaborated in promoting payments that do not require physical money.
As reported by Cointelegraph, e-commerce and internet company Rakuten aims to incorporate its services into the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) to provide support for its smart fare cards, which can be used to access trains as well as pay for goods and services.
This latest move has the potential to drastically alter the daily routines of Japanese commuters, while also contributing to the country’s push towards adopting cashless payment systems.
Japan’s transition to a cashless society is not without its obstacles. Owing to a combination of factors, including low crime, deflation, and an aging citizenry that remains content to use cash, only 20% of the nation’s population makes payments using cashless methods.
It is hoped that the collaboration between Rakuten and JR East can serve as an important catalyst in the adoption of an intangible payment system and help to address cultural apathy.
In March, it was speculated by multiple publications that Rakuten Pay would consider incorporating cryptocurrency support into its mobile application. Given the firm’s newly announced partnership with JR East, this could indicate that Japanese commuters will have the option to use cryptocurrency to top up their Suica cards starting in 2020.
As one of the latest companies to be granted a license to operate a crypto exchange, Rakuten’s position as a leader in its field gives it considerable clout in promoting the use of cryptocurrencies.
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