Consumers in Japan have lowest acceptance to digital payments among seven Asia-Pacific countries: Mastercard survey

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About 70 per cent of Japanese consumers have used digital payments – such as digital wallets, QR codes,  Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), crypto assets and biometrics – in the past year, the lowest rate among seven Asia-Pacific countries, according to a survey by credit card operator Mastercard.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has led to fast adoption of digital payments, and more than one in three consumers in Japan have now reduced their use of cash, traditional payment methods remained dominant, results of Mastercard’s annual New Payments Index showed.

The survey covered 40 markets in five regions, including seven markets in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region: Japan, Australia, China, India, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam. The latest results were released on November 7.

Overall, 88 per cent consumers in the APAC region have used digital payments in the past year and 69 per cent have increased their use of at least one digital payment instrument.

The survey showed Japanese consumers had security and privacy concerns over biometrics. About 57 per cent of respondents in Japan said they knew at least a little about BNPL, but only 19 per cent “feel comfortable” using it, as opposed to 50 per cent of APAC consumers who said they felt that way.

While 70 per cent of Japanese consumers had heard of crypto assets, only 32 per cent had heard of NFTs. In APAC, 88 per cent have heard of crypto assets and 68 per cent have heard of NFTs.

The survey was conducted between March 21 and April 19 and covered 35,040 respondents in 40 markets, including the seven markets in APAC.