Japan works to close contactless gap before Olympics

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One year out from hosting the Summer Olympics, Japan’s merchant base has a low ratio of contactless acceptance compared with other major markets, according to Visa.

Less than 20% of all merchants in Japan are equipped to process contactless payments, compared with 90% of merchants in South Korea and about 50% in the U.S. and Canada, Visa said in a Wednesday press release.

Visa is working with fast-food outlets, transit operators and convenience stores to drive adoption of contactless payments at the point of sale prior to the kickoff of the Olympic Games Tokyo on July 24, 2020, Visa said in the release.

Japanese surfing phenomenon Kanoa Igarashi appears in a Visa marketing campaign in Japan urging consumers to “ride the cashless wave,” and Visa is working with fintechs to promote digital commerce in Japan through its Fintech Fastrack initiative, the release said.

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Contactless payments Point-of-sale Visa Japan