Japan’s cashless discount ends June 30

Japan’s cashless discount ends June 30

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Okinawa

What started as a program to encourage convenience store, supermarket and restaurant customers to go paperless in Japan where transactions are mostly cash-based, has now come to an end.

Japan’s Cashless Rebate Program offered a 5 percent or 2 percent discount, cashback or points for people using cards, Apple Pay or their SUICA/PASMO cards for purchases.

This incentive was introduced by the government back in October to circumvent the potential drop in the economy after the consumption tax was raised from eight to 10 percent and also as a way to encourage the modern custom of using electronic money.

I took advantage of the program and used QR code-based pay apps call Paypay and “ID,” as well as several credit cards. It definitely saved me at least a few thousand yen but COVID-19 prevented me from spending further since we couldn’t go shopping as often as before.

Starting July 1, all transaction regardless of method of payment are subject to the 10 percent tax rate. If you’re doing take-out food or drink, you will still be able to enjoy the reduced tax rate at 8 percent.

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