China’s UnionPay QR Now Inoperable with Japan’s Universal Payment QR

China’s UnionPay QR Now Inoperable with Japan’s Universal Payment QR

by March 6, 2020

UnionPay announced that it has become the first international payment brand to be included in Japan’s universal payment QR standard known as JPQR.

In 2018, the Japanese government put forward a plan to build a cash-free society. To make it easier for merchants to accept mobile payments, the committee within the Japanese government set up to promote a cashless society within the country settled upon a JPQR standard that is compatible with 11 QR codes, including the code developed by UnionPay, allowing local merchants to accept multiple mobile payment options via a single JPQR code.

The recent launch of the JPQR popularization program is aimed at accelerating the promotion of mobile payments. Starting from April 2020, all merchants in Japan can apply for a JPQR code online. The move is expected to significantly expand the acceptance of the UnionPay QR code across the country.

The UnionPay QR code was included in the program partly due to the existing familiarity that Japanese merchants already had with UnionPay and its services. UnionPay cards are already accepted at over 70 per cent of merchants across Japan, with 60,000 local merchants supporting UnionPay QR code-based payments, including LOFT lifestyle shops and tax-free outlets at Kansai International Airport. Another reason for the inclusion was the ability to serve foreign visitors on a large scale.

The “UnionPay” app and 53 e-wallets based on the UnionPay standards, available in 13 countries and regions outside of China with cross-border QR code-based payments functions, have served to date about 250 million users. As of today, users travelling in Japan can conveniently make payments on the go by using their smartphone to scan the JPQR code.

UnionPay has expanded its acceptance network to 178 countries and regions worldwide. To respond to the change in how consumers make payments nowadays, UPI has accelerated the expansion of its mobile payment service, with the UnionPay QR code available in 37 countries and regions across APAC, the Middle East and North America.

In several countries, including Thailand and Singapore, UnionPay has also participated in the development of the local general QR code standard by collaborating with parties across the industry chain, supporting the transformation of the local payment sector.

Featured image credit: Unsplash