Japan’s 7-Eleven convenience stores, said it would close its 7pay smartphone payments service after it was hacked, dealing a blow to the country’s hopes of becoming a more cashless society.
Cash is used to settle 80 per cent of the transactions in Japan, with the remainder comprised of credit cards, mobile payments and prepaid swipe cards. But the government has ambitions to transform the country from one of the world’s most cash-obsessed into one of the least. That initiative, launched last year, includes doubling the amount of card and e-money transactions within the next eight years, to create a $1tn-plus cashless market. UBS, the Swiss bank, believes the country is approaching a threshold moment, estimating that around 40 per cent of payments in the country will be non-cash by 2026.