Japan trialing biometric payments for tourists

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has started trialing a cashless payment service using biometric technology for foreign tourists, according to a report by the Bangkok Post.

The Ministry introduced the service at tourism spots in three areas of the country, including the Kanto area around Tokyo, the Kansai region in the west and Kyushu in the southwest.

The move is part of the government’s efforts to raise the number of overseas visitors in advance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

In the Kanto area, the trial will be performed at hotel and inn check-ins in popular tourist areas such as the hot spring town of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture, located just southwest of Tokyo.

Dai Nippon Printing Co and Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting are developing the Omotenashi (hospitality) platform using biometric identification technology.

Upon arriving in the country, foreign tourists will be prompted to register their fingerprints and other key information such as credit card details to make cashless payments at restaurants, hotels and other service outlets.

Tourists will also be sent other information such as a transportation guide on their smartphones in their pre-registered language, according to the Ministry.

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