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METI Program Helps Municipalities Introduce Cashless Payment Services

April 27, 2020

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) opened a call for applicants among municipalities engaging in FY2020 efforts for introducing cashless payment into their service counters and public facilities. 29 municipalities from the applicants were selected and referred to as “pilot municipalities”. In addition, the Payments Japan Association (hereinafter referred to as the “association”) has published “Guidelines on Approaches to Introducing Cashless Payment into Municipalities (First Version)”, a compilation presenting specific procedures that municipalities should take in introducing cashless payment into their services.
 
By the end of 2020, METI will update to the guidelines with knowhow and challenges discovered in the processes for advancing cashless payment in pilot municipalities, enrich the details of the guidelines and, based on this, further its efforts for encouraging more and more municipalities to smoothly introduce cashless payment into their services.

1. Background

Advancing introduction of cashless payment into service counters and public facilities in municipalities will contribute to greater convenience for residents. Backed by this greater convenience, more and more people have been requesting municipalities to introduce cashless payment into their service counters or facilities.

Such introduction is also expected to make municipalities more efficient in service operations, e.g., reducing time or burden in handling cash. However, several municipalities across Japan have no experience or knowhow when it comes to introducing cashless payment services.

2. Overview of “pilot municipalities”

METI opened a call for applicants among municipalities engaging in FY2020 efforts for introducing cashless payment into their service counters and public facilities, called “pilot municipalities”, and selected 29 municipalities from the applicants. For details of the past efforts taken by these selected “pilot municipalities” and facilities into which the municipalities aim to introduce cashless payment in FY2020, see the list of the municipalities shown below.

In addition, the association formulated and published the Guidelines on Approaches to Introducing Cashless Payment into Municipalities (First Version), a compilation presenting specific procedures that municipalities should take in advancing introduction of cashless payment into their service counters and public facilities. For an overview of the guidelines, see the following.

By the end of 2020, METI will update the guidelines with knowhow and challenges discovered in the processes for advancing cashless payment in pilot municipalities and enrich the details of the guidelines. Moreover, it will raise awareness of the guidelines among municipalities across Japan and, through these efforts, it will encourage more municipalities to smoothly introduce cashless payment into their services.

3. Municipalities’ actions for operating JPQR

The association started full-fledged operation of the “merchant-presented mode” of JPQR, a standard barcode payment system formulated by the association. The following municipalities will introduce JPQR ahead of other municipalities across Japan. METI will continue to encourage municipalities to introduce cashless payment into their services counters and public facilities, including the operation of JPQR.

 
Municipality Place into which cashless payment will be introduced Purpose of payment Cashless payment company
Takamori Town, Nagano Prefecture Secretariat of the Takamori Town Board of Education Fees for using facilities LINE Pay
“Attakaterasu,” a center for supporting parents in childrearing in Takamori Town
Togo Town, Aichi Prefecture  
Town Hall, Togo Town
Tax Management Division Fees for issuing certificates
Tax Revenue Division
Resident Service Division
Tomioka City, Gunma Prefecture City Hall, Tomioka City Service Counter, Citizen Service Division Fees for issuing a variety of certifications, etc.
Service Counter, Tax Revenue Division
Tomioka Silk Mill Admission fees
Tomioka City Museum and Fukuzawa Ichiro Memorial Gallery Admission fees
Myogi Central Community Center Fees for issuing a variety of certifications, etc. and fees for using facilities, etc.

Division in Charge

Cashless Payment Promotion Office, Commerce and Service Industry Policy Group

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