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14% users in Japan will use proximity mobile payment

In 2018, more than a quarter of smartphone users in Japan will use their mobile phone to pay for a purchase at a physical point of sale (POS) at least once every six months, a new eMarketer report estimates. By 2021, that figure will reach 32.3 per cent, or roughly 20.4 million people.

eMarketer estimates that 14 per cent of the population in Japan will be proximity mobile payment users this year. By 2021, that proportion is expected to grow to 18.4 per cent.

The report highlighted that Japan’s proximity market has had a double-digit growth over the past couple of years and in 2018 is expected to increase by 16 per cent. However, there is plenty of opportunity for further increases as Japan is home to just under two per cent of proximity users worldwide. China is the world’s leader in proximity payments: eMarketer projects that more than 61 per cent of mobile payment users in 2018 will be based in the country.

eMarketer expect future growth for proximity mobile payments in Japan is likely to come from the expansion of China-based services Alipay and WeChat Pay.

“This year will be a turning point for in-store mobile payments, as it’s the first year the majority of new users will come from outside of China. China is still the only country with mainstream adoption, but now consumers and retailers in other parts of the world are starting to welcome the idea of using a phone to make a purchase. The specific services and technology may differ depending on the country, but it’s the same growing reliance on smartphones in everyday life that’s driving usage worldwide,” said Chris Bendtsen, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer.