More interesting Apple Pay related Japanese market data, this time from Creco Research. Their February survey sample is only 100 people but it is a helpful take on the where the e-money market is three months after Apple Pay and one month after Android Pay launched in Japan. Like the previous market information post, I suspect the results would be the same with a much larger sample.
Pie chart #1 shows the breakdown of e-money payment systems the survey participants have.
- Suica (Apple Pay): 20%
- nananco: 15%
- Rakuten Edy (Android Pay): 14%
- au WALLET: 9%
- QUICPay (Apple Pay): 8%
- PASMO: 7%
- iD (Apple Pay): 7%
- ICOCA: 5%
It’s not surprising that JR East’s Suica is the most widely held e-money payment system but the upside for Apple Pay users is that all the transit payment systems, Suica, PASMO, iCOCA are compatible with each other.
Pie chart #2 lists usage: where do you use e-money?
- Convenience store: 25%
- Transit: 23%
- Station stores: 17%
- Vending machine: 16%
- Supermarket: 14%
Transit use is also the lead here, transit and station stores combined are 40% and probably represents most of the vending machine use as well.
Pie chart #3 asks what is the merit of using e-money.
- No need for cash: 29%
- Convenience: 28%
- Points: 26%
- No more lining up to buy transit tickets: 15%
The last Pie chart is Apple Pay Use: most respondents do not have iPhone 7/Apple Watch Series 2 required to use Apple Pay Japan, but roughly half that do have those devices do not as yet use Apple Pay.
The key takeaway is that public transit is a perfect fit for e-money payment systems such as Suica. NFC infrastructure is ubiquitous in Japanese transit from ticket gates to station store and has been around for a long time. Not surprisingly it is used the most.
But there are still too many holdouts: smaller stores to the Walmart owed Seiyu like grocery chains do not have NFC payment infrastructure in place and this is holding back wider use of e-money payments. There is a lot more work to do if Japan wants to showcase e-money payments to world at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.