There is a movement to promote cashless payments in Japan. The total settlement amount of Japanese credit cards, debit cards, and electronic money against personal consumption expenditures was 27% in 2019. The Japanese government aims to raise the cashless settlement ratio to 40% until 2025.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the elements necessary to promote cashless society. I will consider the factors necessary to promote cashless payments especially in Japan based on the situation in the United States, which is leading the way in cashless society. In order to promote cashless society, it is necessary to look at it from four perspectives: the policy of the country, the behavior of consumers, affiliated merchants, and financial institutions. I will pay particular attention to the behavior of consumers and financial institutions comparing Japan and the United States in this paper.
In Japan, cashless payments are centered on the use of credit cards as in the United States. However, Japanese credit cards are often used for monthly payment, and their contribution to profits in the credit card business is not as large as in the United States. In recent years, new payment methods have appeared and mobile payments are increasing in Japan as well. Although many of these new payment methods improve consumer convenience, new payment methods as cashless payments do not necessarily contribute to profits.
In the United States, a cashless society is developing and the usage of credit cards is high among the major developed countries. The expansion of credit card usage has boosted personal consumption expenditures and supported economic growth through the increase of consumer credit in the United States. The cashless society in the United States has progressed in combination with the expansion of the use of credit cards to promote personal consumption expenditures and the actions of financial institutions to generate profits from them. In fact, major US financial institutions make annual pre-tax profits of 200-300 billion yen mainly in the credit card business.
I clarify that it is necessary for financial institutions to continuously record profits as an element to promote cashless society. The promotion of cashless society in Japan has entered a stage where it is necessary for profit sustainability of financial institutions. In order to promote cashless payments, financial institutions that handle cashless payments must be able to generate profits at the same time as improving consumer convenience.
The contribution of this paper is to present the elements for promoting a cashless society after understanding Japanese peculiar situation. Especially in Japan, the low profitability of financial institutions that make cashless payments
is a problem. I hope that this paper will contribute to the further promotion of cashless society in Japan.
In Japan, the Money Lending Business Law (MLBL) was amended in December 2006 and was fully enforced in June 2010. The impact of the newly imposed strict regulations was enormous, and many consumer finance companies went out of business in a short period of time. For example, Takefuji (2nd in the industry) went bankrupt in September 2010, and Sanyo Shinpan (7th in the industry) was merged into Promise (4th in the industry) in the following month. At the same time, the credit crunch in the consumer finance market accelerated at a stretch. After all, the market size continued to decline after that, and the shrinking trend of the market subsided in 2012. It had remained generally stable from 2012 until before the COVID-19 pandemic. And today, the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting the consumer finance market.
Therefore, this paper first focused on the consumer finance market before and after the revision of MLBL, and analyzed changes in the situation such as balances, new contract rates, and overpayment refunds, etc. As a result, it was confirmed that not only the request for refunds of overpaid interest increased at a stretch, but also the size of the consumer finance market had shrunk, because the consumers who had difficulty in borrowing due to the cap interest rate reduction went to debt consolidation, and in addition claimed a refund of their overpayment. In other words, the cap interest rate reduction as well as the introduction of the total amount regulation due to the revision of the law forced some users at that time into difficult situations of borrowing. Rapid increase in the number of users facing borrowing difficulties prompted the request for refunds of overpaid interest to money lenders at once, and gradually worsened the performance of lenders.
Next, this paper analyzed the impact of the economic environment of the COVID-19 pandemic on the consumer finance market. Recently, it has been reported that the number of consumers who have been in financial difficulty under the COVID-19 pandemic has increased, and some of them may have been leaked to loan sharks (Yamikin). So, the author investigated the financial situation of consumers from the transaction data in the consumer finance market under such an economy. Consequently, it was suggested that the number of consumers who are refused loans from consumer finance companies may be increasing as economic activity is shrinking.
In the humanities and social sciences, there is not much budget allocated for the operation of “seminars”,
which are small groups. Nonetheless, seminars at large universities have a large number of students, so
the cost of conducting seminar activities that mainly involve fieldwork, such as city planning, becomes a
major burden. The expenses mentioned here are mainly travel expenses. Actually confronting local issues
and working to solve them leads to deep learning for the students, and for the local community, seeing the
activities of students through the university leads to vitality.
In this study, we decided to implement an advanced approach of acquiring external funds in small groups of universities. Specifically, we tried to secure expenses through crowdfunding (hereinafter referred to as “CF”) by utilizing the sharing economy mechanism and focusing on seminars in the
humanities and social sciences with a focus on urban development, and aimed to understand the significance and issues involved.
As a feature of the operation in this study, the seminar students themselves updated the new information on the project page and disseminated information using SNS, and conducted activities to call out to prospective supporters. An overview of the implementation of the CF is summarized, and analysis and discussion are provided based on the daily PV numbers and the amount of support. In addition, we conducted a questionnaire survey of the seminar students who were the main implementers of the CF, and grouped and statistically analyzed the data obtained.
In the 38 days of the CF project, we received 1,309,000 yen from 96 supporters. In addition, the CF led to introspection, including metacognition, of each seminar student. Through this project, we found out that it is possible to secure funds for seminar activities through CF mainly for humanities and social sciences seminars. We also found out that this initiative can have an educational effect.
This paper discusses community buses’ beneficiary liabilities by comparing Japanese ride-sharing with foreign shared-ride transportation. In local areas, the maintenance of bus routes is difficult in terms of the management of income and expenditures. However, to ensure availability of transportation, the municipal operation of community buses is increasing in areas without public transportation or alternatives to community buses. At present, the operating costs of community buses are covered by the public in many cases. This paper argues that the financial burden should not only be on the government. We consider what beneficiary liabilities should be from the point of view of personal finance and examine the balance between beneficiary liabilities and public burden. Subsequently, we discuss beneficiary liabilities for public transportation as a public good and propose to operate it through the united efforts of industry, government, academia, finance, and the public.
We discuss the structuring of community buses’ potential operation from beneficiary liabilities through the following: ride-sharing “Sasaeai Kotsu” in Kyotango City, Kyoto Prefecture, operated via beneficiary liabilities; foreign cases including Thailand, which developed share-ride transportation, and France, where the financial resources for public transportation are covered by taxes from beneficiary companies are discussed. From the perspective that a certain amount of beneficiary liability is needed for public transportation, we propose to resolve issues in community bus route development and maintenance in cooperation with industry, government, academia, finance, and the public.
Using RRD transaction data, the purpose of this paper is to determine how much the borrower’s hometown in Henan province affects the funding and default of loan securities, i.e., how much discrimination against Henanese exists in Chinese P2P lending. The estimation results of the statistical model show that while there is no discrimination against the provincial level origin of borrowers, lenders substitute the municipality level origin for economic wealth (GDP per capita at the municipality level) and prefer borrowers from wealthier regions. This preference results in a higher return on investment, which is entirely rational behavior. It is commendable that lenders are clever enough to use the nonfinancial attributes of borrowers, such as region of origin, in their investment decisions to compensate for incomplete information.