Japan market research
Why many international brands struggle in selling online in Japan?
Preferred online payment methods in Japan
|Cash on delivery
Why do people have but dont use credit cards?
JCB reports that the penetration rate of credit cards in Japan is 85%, and that the average number of credit cards per individual is around 3.2. Such numbers are comparable with the ones of the US, but only 17% of Japanese people purchases actually happens through credit cards
Japanese people value their privacy and data protection
|Even if credit cards systems are nowadays encrypted and protected, you still have to insert all your personal information to complete a purchase.|
Fear of fraud
|Using credit cards could make them feel exposed to fraud issues, from dataleaks to actual scams and unauthorized transactions.|
Presence of valid payment alternatives on the market
|Most online stores in Japan, starting from giants Rakuten and Amazon, offer cash-based alternatives to credit cards payment, between which cash on delivery or the ability to pay atconvenience stores.|
Debt is seen as something risky to stay away from
|Credit cards work on “debt-based” premises: a customer receives now, a good or service whichwill be accounted for at the end of the month. Japanese people, strongly adverse to risk, can see this as incurring in a real debt, and therefore exposing themselves to an unnecessary level of risk.|
Konbini (Convenience Store) Payments
Many online stores provide, between their payment options, the possibility for their customers to place an online order, receive an anonymous receipt and bring that receipt to a convenience store, were they will be able to pay directly in cash at the counter or make a bank transfer online or offline through the ATM stations present at the convenience stores.
From a merchant perspective, konbini payments allow on one side to have a wider reach, but at the same time cope with therisk of keeping inventory blocked until customers finalize their payment (or the payment deadline expires).
Cash on Delivery
Delayed Payments / “ATOBARAI”
The customer makes an online purchase, choosing “atobarai” as payment system
The customer receives the product and checks it
The atobarai sends, separately or together with the product depending from case to case, an invoice to the customer.
Once the customer receives the invoice, he/she has a determined amount of time to pay it at the konbini, post office, or bank.