Japan Testing Novel Payment System
People, Travel

Japan Testing Novel Payment System

Tourists visiting Japan may no longer need to exchange their money for yen as the government plans to introduce what it dubs “fingerprint currency.” The experiment will involve registering the fingerprints of willing inbound tourists and other data, such as credit card information on arrival.  Tourists will then be able to make purchases simply by placing two fingers on special devices installed at stores, eTurbonews reported. A total of 300 souvenir shops, restaurants and hotels will participate in the experimental idea, centered mostly within popular tourist districts such as Hakone, Kamakura, Yugawara and Atami. The government plans to gradually expand the experiment by next spring, to cover even more tourist sites. There are plans to roll out the system to the entire country and its 40 million annual tourists by 2020, in time for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Officials have rushed to reassure the public and tourists that the sensitive personal data will be securely managed and encrypted amid concerns that tourists will be uneasy about providing fingerprints. Security experts believe the system will prevent crime such as credit card fraud.


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