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MasterCard launches mobile wallet in Japan to drive cashless transactions

MasterCard, C-SAM and DNP are expanding the reach of their mobile wallet services to enterprises in Japan and helping them improve the experience for retailers and merchants.

The mobile wallet is NFC-enabled and provides merchants and retailers a contactless and convenient way to interact with customers. The mobile wallets can also integrate loyalty cards and coupons to add additional benefit for consumers.

“MasterCard mobile wallet provides safe, simple, smart and added value solutions to cardholders, merchants, issuers and acquirers,” said Kaoru Hirose, vice president and head of Japan market development at MasterCard, Tokyo.

“Consumers will enjoy the benefit of fast, convenient and highly secure payments by simply tapping their NFC-enabled smartphone anywhere contactless is accepted, and merchants will be freed from the cumbrance of managing cash,” he said. “Discount coupons, promotions and rewards program will be also available on the wallet.

“Developing a state-of-the-art mobile wallet application and introducing it to the Japanese market is a key strategic imperative for MasterCard. This alliance with C-SAM and DNP will make it possible.”

C-SAM is a mobile transactions technology company that is based in Chicago, and DNP is a Japan IC card vendor.

Japanese money
C-SAM and MasterCard launched a similar mobile wallet in Singapore last year using C-SAM’s mobile transaction platform.

For the Japanese version, DNP will provide technical support along with MasterCard’s PayPass contactless payment solution.

The goal is make mobile wallets more popular and add convenience for merchants, retailers and consumers in Japan.

The companies chose to use NFC for the mobile wallet because contactless payments have been very popular in Japan, according to Mr. Hirose. For over a decade, Japan has been the leading pioneer for contactless payments and the country has an innovation-friendly culture.

They decided that this created the most opportunity for consumer adoption.

According to Japan Consumer Credit Association, credit card usage against personal consumption expenditure is only 17 percent, which means that the use of cash is still strong in Japan. That translates to opportunity for electronic payment growth.

MasterCard, C-SAM and DPN believe that mobile wallets will encourage consumers to go cashless.

Mobile wallets
In the last couple of years, mobile wallets have been emerging in various places and with various companies and financial organizations.

For example, American Express and Chase recently partnered with Isis to offer their consumers new ways to make payments via the mobile wallet (see story).

Discover’s Pulse also rolled out a QR-based mobile wallet to improve payment efficiency and enhance transaction experiences for consumers (see story).

MasterCard, C-SAM and DPN’s effort will add another mobile wallet option and expand to new markets.

“For MasterCard, this is another milestone for us in terms of expanding our presence in the mobile payments space, and delivering great mobile payments experiences to consumers globally,” Mr. Hirose said.

“Mobile wallet is strategically positioned to help people shift their spending behavior from cash to electronic payments,” he said.

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York