NHK reported on December 6 that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided on a policy for trial implementation of its own loyalty point system called Tokyo YUA Coin (tentative name). The trial is expected to be conducted from January to February next year, targeting Otemachi, Marunouchi, and Yurakucho and areas along the Tokyu Railway in Tokyo. The government is also considering issuance of an independent digital currency in the near future.
The point system initiative intends to promote the shift to a cashless society and activities related to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Tokyo YUA Coins will be granted to people who use cashless payments for expenses linked to contributing to the SDGs in their daily life, such as commuting during off-peak hours to alleviate crowding during the morning and evening rush, using their own eco-bag for shopping, and reducing plastic waste.
In line with the consumption tax rising from 8% to 10% in Japan in October 2019, medium and small business operators are introducing measures over the next nine months that will allow for loyalty point systems that return a percentage of the purchase as loyalty points when customers pay by credit card or digital payment. Many Japanese consumers still pay with cash, and the purpose of these measures is to make cashless payments more commonplace while offering an incentive for consumers. Tokyo YUA Coin can be viewed as part of the popularization of cashless payments while encouraging actions that contribute to the SDGs.
*This article was written by FISCO.