Japan’s Biggest Railway Firm JR East To Launch Cashless Payment with Rakuten in 2020


Japan’s largest railway firm the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) is bringing cashless payment to its customers in collaboration with japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. Through the Rakuten mobile app, commuters can use their rechargeable JR East’s “Suica” fare card to make payments to the company.

According to a press release published today, the service is expected to be available for use in 2020. This will be used by commuters to 5,000 train stations and approximately 50,000 buses, in addition to around 600,000 stores across Japan and the cashless service is to be extended to other businesses in the future, the press release said.

Cashless payments are becoming more popular among merchants around the world. Even countries are working to encourage this. North Macedonia recently banned cash transactions involving more than 500 euros in an attempt to curtail tax evasion and “shadow economy”.

The e-commerce company Rakuten is also playing a critical role in encouraging the development of this technology by updating its payment app in a way to make it potentially useful for cryptocurrency payments. A Japanese crypto exchange DeCurret got approval from the FSA to launch a cryptocurrency payment system that will enable JR East’s Suica payment card to support cryptocurrency.

Rakuten’s commitment to cryptocurrency was further demonstrated when it acquired crypto exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin in August 2018. Rakuten has also obtained approval from Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) and plans to launch a new crypto exchange this month.

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