Massive e-cash surge hits Japan's shops
6th Jun 2009 | 03:04
Will cash die out if RFID money becomes the norm?
We've seen before how pervasive RFID-based electronic money is in Japan, but it comes as a bit of a shock to note that the country now has exactly one e-cash card in circulation for every member of the population.
Tower of Babel
More than ten variations on the basic RFID electronic money card are available, as well as several different standards embedded in phones.
That mix initially created something of a problem in finding a single reader/writer terminal to allow retail outlets to accept e-cash.
However, the advent of terminals that can support multiple standards seems to be behind the surge in popularity of e-cash.
And Nomura predicts the future can only get brighter - it forecasts Japanese e-cash purchases hitting a staggering ¥3 trillion (£19 billion) in less than four years and that's excluding the Oyster Card-like travel cards that are already ubiquitous there.