Japan to Introduce Fingerprint-Based Payments Instead of Cash and Credit Cards

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by Tatsiana Yablonskaya · 3 min read
Japan to Introduce Fingerprint-Based Payments Instead of Cash and Credit Cards
Photo: neccorp/Flickr

Japanese authorities are going to start the experiment with fingerprint payment terminals this summer.

Japan is preparing a system to revolutionize the whole way we make payments. According to RT, Japan will replace both cash and credit cards with simple fingerprinting. All tourists visiting the country will scan their fingerprints on arrival and afterwards will need only to place two fingers on a scanner to make payments.

Indeed, Japan is developing a system that will manage to calculate how much money a customer has based on a fingerprint. The idea itself is not brand-new – a bank and a theme park in Nagasaki Prefecture already use some kind of such system. Customers there can make payments at more than 30 restaurants and businesses.

Hopefully, the new payment system will attract more tourists to Japan. The aim is to increase the number of foreign visitors to 40 million. The start of testing period is scheduled for this summer and the whole system is expected to be ready by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. By that time Japan plans to tie the entire country with fingerprint payment terminals.

The experiment will include around 300 businesses from multiple areas most popular with tourists. Japan is going to increase the number of businesses participating in the experiment as well as other regions and prefectures by next spring.

The trial phase will include recording user data on spending, frequency location and more and the analysis of the data for further insight and improvement. The system can also signalize to authorities what improvements they can make to Japan’s tourist infrastructure.

Aeon Bank located in Tokyo will be the first to trial the system. It is expected that customers will be given an opportunity to use their fingerprints to authenticate the identity and hence to withdraw money from ATMs. Thus, the need for cards and PIN numbers will be fully eliminated.

“The system is also superior in the area of security, such as preventing people from impersonating our customers,” said an official from the bank.

Tourists are expected to appreciate the future system as it provides the undeniable convenience. Anyone visiting Japan will have to undergo only one scanning procedure at the arrival and to enjoy the sightseeing without disturbing thoughts of whether he didn’t lose and forget cash or credit card. For conducting a purchase, a customer will only have to place two fingers on a scanner.

Besides, tourists will no longer need to fill out tax exemption forms. Multiple services that now require much time will become faster. That concern also checking into hotels that is now impossible without showing a passport.

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