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The usage of mobile payment increased in Japan during the COVID-19 crisis: new yStats.com report

The latest publication from Germany-based online research firm yStats.com, “Top Mobile Payment Service Providers in Japan 2020 and their Reaction to the COVID-19 Crisisprovides insights into the advances made by the top mobile payment service providers in Japan during the pandemic. Among other findings, the publication reveals that the coronavirus pandemic has further boosted the use of mobile payments in Japan.

A rise in the use of mobile payments is seen in Japan during the COVID-19 crisis

As the coronavirus pandemic hit Japan in 2020, consumers shifted even further to online shopping, thus boosting payments volume via mobile apps. After cash and credit cards, mobile phone payment is the most used payment method. A survey cited by the yStats.com publication reflected that the number of shoppers using mobile payments once in a week increased in May 2020 compared to December 2019. Contactless payments via QR scan codes on a mobile phone were a strong trend in Japan even before the COVID-19 pandemic. QR code payment user penetration in Japan was a significant double-digit percentage in January 2020.

During the COVID-19 health crisis, top mobile payment services in Japan launched various features to support their users

The top three most used mobile QR scan payment services providers in Japan are PayPay, Rakuten Pay and Line Pay. These top players have been promoting contactless payment methods to assist their users during the COVID-19 health crisis. According to the new yStats.com report, PayPay’s transaction volume in Japan increased by a three-digit percentage from December 2019 to May 2020. Moreover, Rakuten Pay has recently partnered with various retailers such as Cycle Base Asahi, a bicycle seller, and Marsugen, a restaurant chain, to provide contactless payment services. Furthermore, Line Pay signed an agreement with Tokyo Gas to further make the payment process paperless.

International mobile payment services in Japan are gaining ground during the COVID-19 outbreak

Japan is a popular destination for tourists, especially from China. Chinese tourists prefer making payments via payment platforms from their country, such as Alipay. A report cited by yStats.com states that Alipay member stores in Japan exceeded 300,000 prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and Alipay continues to expand it services to facilitate tourism in the country. Furthermore, Amazon Pay is another major International player in Japan. It is also partnering with various local businesses such as Medik Direct Shop to make its platform available for online payments.