It has been a long time since the world plunged into the corona disaster in 2020, but I have not been able to revisit Taiwan, which I visited every year, since the summer of 2019, and it has already been more than three years. Although it was a work visit, it is true that the “For Fun” part was large, such as local meals that can be eaten in between and a little sightseeing using the gap time between traveling back and forth.
One of the reasons why round-trip demand between Taiwan and Japan has not recovered is that until recently, the Taiwan side had a strict quarantine system, and it was difficult to stay for a short period of time for business or sightseeing due to the quarantine period. Also, at the time of writing this article, Japan has a daily entry limit of 20,000 people, and visa exemptions have been temporarily suspended, so entry into Japan for sightseeing purposes is limited to group trips through travel agencies. , the number of foreign visitors has hardly increased. The foreign tourists we see in Japan today are limited to those who have already stayed in Japan or who are visiting Japan for business and are visiting Japan for sightseeing.
Under these circumstances, two news items aimed at reviving travel between the two countries, especially inbound demand from Taiwan to Japan, were announced and became a hot topic. This time, while covering this topic, I would like to think about the upcoming visit from Japan to Taiwan.
The first topic is JCB card and QUICPay.
At the end of July, at a press conference held in Taipei by Taiwan’s 6th largest bank, United Bank, and JCB, the bank issued a JCB card with the keyword “Japan”, and by registering the card with Apple Pay, “QUICPay ” becomes availablepublicationdid.
QUICPay is a payment method unique to Japan and can only be used within Japan. In other words, this JCB card issued by United Bank can usually be used for payments as a “JCB” brand card, and when traveling to Japan, it can be registered with Apple Pay and used for payments at both QUICPay and JCB merchants. It was the first time that a card issued by an overseas financial institution was linked to QUICPay, and the point that it was an additional function clearly aimed at inbound tourists became a hot topic.
This time, when I asked Mr. Etsuro Takahashi, Deputy General Manager of JCB International Headquarters East Asia Sales Department, and Mr. Yuto Ezoe, Chief of Sales Department II at JCB’s East Asia Sales Headquarters, I asked them about the background of the partnership. ), the proposal itself to offer QUICPay as a set product has been made since 2019. Although United Bank said that they would like to do it by all means, they were promoting cooperation, but due to the corona crisis, the start date was delayed until 2022.
“If you ask me why this is the timing of this offer, it is likely that the recovery in travel has become visible. Originally, JCB was preparing various inbound measures not only for Taiwan but also for the ASEAN region on the Japanese side. , United Bank is the first case where the function of the card itself has product characteristics.It is a product that sticks to the product characteristics of “Japan”, and it is not only a privilege when you come to Japan, but also a Japanese store in Taiwan. It is a product that was carefully created by the issuer, United Bank, such as offering preferential treatment in Japan and providing content that allows you to experience Japan before and after your trip.It is said that 80% of visitors from Taiwan are repeaters. Japan is popular, but the aim is to develop customers who are caught by such keywords.” (Mr.
As you can see from this story, the existence of QUICPay is just an additional element to support “Tabinaka”, and the mainNumerous functions that can enjoy benefits in “Japan” installed on the card itselfIt is in.
For example, 1% cashback is given both domestically and internationally with normal card usage, but only 3.5% cashback is preferentially treated for use in Japan. In addition, the return rate for domestic consumption is extremely high, with up to 8% at Japanese stores in Taiwan such as Uniqlo, Daiso, and Don Quijote, and up to 10% at Japanese restaurants. Most of these cashback activities are set to expire on June 30, 2023, but the company plans to use the keyword “Japan” to stimulate domestic consumption, and to capture demand for visiting Japan, which is expected to revive within a year. Thing.
It is said that United Bank has gathered merchants who agree with the campaign, but it is interesting that they added “Japan” as a spice to encourage daily use.
Note that QUICPay is only supported when registering Apple Pay on an iPhone, and is not supported on Android devices. Since QUICPay uses a FeliCa chip, it seems to be technically difficult for Android devices distributed in Taiwan and other countries to support it. However, in Japan, the number of stores that support contactless payment of JCB is increasing, and it is thought that the situation of “I’m in trouble without QUICPay” is decreasing compared to before.
However, the fact that QUICPay can be used by registering the card with Apple Pay is a feature not found in competing brands such as Mastercard and Visa, and it seems that they want to appeal the point that it can be used in “plus α” places. According to Mr. Takahashi, 80-90% of cards issued in Taiwan are contactless, and the non-cash rate of payments is higher than in Japan. If visitors to Japan can do everything with their cards, they will be able to make payments in Japan as an extension of their daily lives, and enjoy a smooth travel and payment experience.
The second hot topic is the EasyCard. Taiwan’s transportation IC card is indispensable for local transportation, but in recent years it can also be used for product sales and payment at vending machines and convenience stores.
In some cases, only Easy Cards can be used instead of credit cards, so it would be useful to charge the amount plus α to the amount you will use for transportation during your stay. The EasyCard will soon be available at retail stores in Okinawa.The other day Traicy and others reported and became a hot topicHowever, I asked Bank of the Ryukyus, which is starting an acquiring business in Japan, for details on this matter.
“Multiple Taiwan mediaorEasy Card Company HPAs mentioned in , we are aiming for the second half of 2022. In Japan, only the registered form is available as described. The upper limit of payment is as described, but this is the upper limit rule of the Easy Card itself, and the same conditions as in Taiwan. The Easy Card is a prepaid type of electronic money that is charged in Taiwan dollars, and the exchange rate is calculated at the time of purchase, and it is withdrawn immediately. On the other hand, the member store inputs the amount in Japanese yen into the payment terminal, and the transfer to the member store is also made in Japanese yen. It is not a mechanism to calculate the rate each time, but it is calculated based on the latest rate on a regular basis.” (Bank of the Ryukyus Payment Division)
The usage limit for the Easy Card is NT$1,500 (approximately ¥6,700) per transaction, and NT$3,000 (approximately ¥13,500) per day. One point to note is that the Easy Cards that many Japanese travelers to Taiwan have are not registered, so they cannot be used in Japan.
previously introducedAs such, Bank of the Ryukyus is embarking on a cashless business to capture the demand of inbound tourists to Okinawa from home and abroad, and this easy card support is part of that. The bank has acquired principal licenses for Mastercard, Visa, and UnionPay cards to meet inbound demand from China and other countries.
The reason for newly starting to handle the Easy Card this time is that “Taiwan is geographically close and has a large number of visitors to Okinawa. We thought it would be convenient and interesting if it could be used casually at stores, etc., so we responded independently.” We have started accepting applications for member stores from April this year as a pre-reception, and it is said that it will be available at some time within the year.
The only thing I’m curious about is how it will be used at member stores other than Bank of the Ryukyus and in transportation. In Okinawa, there is a unique transportation IC card called “OKICA”, which is used as a means of payment other than cash on buses in the city. In addition to OKICA, Yui Rail also supports QR code tickets, which can be purchased from ticket vending machines at stations.From March 2020, it will also support transportation IC cards such as Suica, so-called “10 cards”In addition, convenience for tourists coming from outside Okinawa has improved even in Japan.
As for the support for Easy Cards, Okinawa City Monorail, which operates the same route, replied, “We can’t use it, and we don’t plan to use it.” There have been rumors that Easy Cards can be used, but at least the official answer is that there is no such intention.
What is interesting is that both of these two topics are promoting measures with the main target of 2023 and beyond. Unibang Bank has already started issuing JCB cards compatible with QUICPay, and has already started a return policy with the keyword “Japan”. However, in the case of the bank, it seems that consumption in Taiwan and use for online shopping are assumed, and consumption in Japan seems to be “as soon as travel recovers.” In fact, the return period will end at the end of June 2023, and we expect that travel demand will probably recover after the Spring Festival ends.
The Bank of the Ryukyus is also planning to start handling Easy Cards within 2022, but depending on the member store, it will not start at the same time, and it is expected that the measures will be taken after 2023. Combining the two, it seems that the parties concerned are drawing up a blueprint for travel easing in both countries within 2022 and a full-fledged recovery in demand from 2023 onwards. At the same time, this also means that demand for travel from Japan to Taiwan is likely to increase during this period. Whether it will actually come true is still unknown, but the relevant parties are preparing for it.