Top Reasons Japanese Don’t Use Apple Pay


Ways to Pay in Japan conducted a small poll of 50 random iPhone 7 users who do not use Apple Pay asking them the reason why. It may be small but the results are very interesting.

  1. Prefer cash 22%: Japanese are conservative with their money and even though people who responded recognize the convenience of Apple Pay, they all say that cash ‘feels safer’, real and a healthy reminder of how much they are spending.
  2. Security concerns 18%: It’s not surprising but despite all the security technology behind TouchID and Apple Pay, respondents still feel uneasy and don’t completely trust high-tech solutions.
  3. Easy to overuse 12%: Very similar to #1, virtual payments don’t feel real and because of that, too easy to abuse.
  4. Don’t understand how to use it 8%: despite all of Apple’s effort to make Apple Pay easy, it isn’t easy enough for some.
  5. The pay system I use is not Apple Pay compatible 8%: Apple Pay now has 86% of Japanese credit cards signed on but Suica is the only Transit/Pre-Paid card on Apple Pay. Apple needs to sign other pay systems like Rakuten Edy, WAON as well as other transit card systems such as Pitapa.
  6. iPhone Glitches 6%: the number one concern here is battery life. Suica stops working if your iPhone battery dies on route. Not something you want to happen during your commute in rush hour.
  7. My favorite store does not support it 6%: Many smaller stores do not support contactless payments.
  8. Prefer Plastic 6%: Most internet purchases and many smaller stores do not support pay systems like Apple Pay. Plastic is still king.
  9. Credit Card not compatible 4%: This poll was conducted before Apple Pay Japan signed on major new partners such as AMEX which was a sore point for many potential users.
  10. Too shy to try 4%: Some people don’t want to stand out in a crowded supermarket checkout aisle when nobody else uses Apple Pay.
  11. Too much bother 4%: The Apple Pay setup is too complicated for some to bother with.
  12. I like the personal touch 2%: This is an interesting response, some people fear losing the warm of human contact one has when paying in cash.

The responses and opinions on the Ways to Pay in Japan site are well worth reading if you know Japanese. I suspect that even if the survey pool was much larger, the responses and rankings would be the same.