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    Recruit In-Store Payment Service AirPAY will Start Accepting Rakuten Pay and Rakuten Point Card

    Sep 29, 2022 | Recruit

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    Recruit has announced that its in-store payment service, AirPAY, will start accepting three payment services from Rakuten Payment, Inc. AirPAY is a payment service for stores that supports credit cards, electronic money, QR codes, and points. It will begin accepting Rakuten Pay in late October 2022, followed by Rakuten Point Card in February 2023. Plans are also in place to accept Rakuten Edy in the near future.

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    (Using AirPAY in-store)

    1. Overview

    AirPAY allows stores to handle credit card and electronic money payments with just a single card reader and an iPad or iPhone. Stores also have the option to add AirPAY QR*1, a service that supports smartphone QR code payments, and AirPAY Point*2, which supports shared point programs. Increasing payment options leads to greater convenience for both the stores and customers. With AirPAY, stores can offer both domestic customers and international visitors 36 methods of payment (as of late September 2022), including major international credit cards, rechargeable prepaid IC travel cards, other e-money such as iD, QUICPay, or Apple Pay, QR code payments via PayPay, d Payment and Alipay, as well as shared point programs such as T-POINT, Ponta and d POINT, WAON Point. The three Rakuten Group payment services have about 50 million users*3 (as of June 2021). Their addition will only make AirPAY even more convenient for users. Starting in late October 2022, AirPAY QR will begin accepting the QR payment service Rakuten Pay. Rakuten Point Card will become a payment option via AirPAY Point in February 2023, and the e-money service Rakuten Edy will be accepted with AirPAY in the near future.

    *1 QR Code is a registered trademark of Denso Wave Incorporated. The same applies hereafter.
    *2 AirPAY Point uses "POICHI," a service provided by JCB Co., Ltd. that allows stores to handle multiple point services.
    *3 Total number of monthly active Rakuten Group service users who make payments via a registered Rakuten ID.

    2. Background

    Cashless payment ratio exceeds 30% for the first time — one step closer to the government’s ambitious goal of 80%.

    According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), cashless payments accounted for 32.5% of domestic consumer spending in 2021, an increase of 2.8 percentage points from 2020 and a new record high. These numbers indicate the growing need for cashless payment options among consumers. METI is working to promote cashless transactions to increase the cashless payment ratio to around 40% by 2025 and 80% in the future, the highest level in the world.
    QR code payments have seen a particularly notable surge. The Cashless Payment Promotion Office's April 2022 code payment statistics is a compilation of data from 16 major QR code payment service providers, including Rakuten Pay, PayPay, and d Payment. It revealed that in 2021, the volume of QR code payment transactions in Japan reached 7.3487 trillion yen, up 70% from the previous year. In addition, the number of in-store transactions totaled 4.8 billion, an 80% increase from a year earlier. The number of stores that accept QR code payments is increasing in response to consumers' growing demand. As this trend is expected to continue, stores are compelled to respond.

    Addition of Rakuten offers further support as AirPAY transaction volume approaches one trillion yen

    AirPAY accounts reached approximately 304,000 at the end of June 2022, up 32.8% from the same period last year. Adding three Rakuten Group payment services will support stores in offering customers a wider variety of payment options. By the end of FY2022, the total value of in-store payments through AirPAY (including QR payments through AirPAY QR) and online payments through AirPAY Online is expected to exceed one trillion yen. We believe that we will be able to support stores and customers even more with the addition of these three new payment services.

    3. Comment from product supervisor

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    Kazuyoshi Shiobara *Available for interviews Head of Payment Products Management Unit, Recruit Co., Ltd. Product Manager, AirPAY

    Kazuyoshi Shiobara joined Recruit Co., Ltd. with a desire to contribute to society by pioneering new kinds of payment services. With extensive knowledge and experience in the IT and web domains, as well as his in-depth expertise in finance and payments, he has been placed in charge of Recruit’s payments business. He has been in his current position since April 2017.

    Driving Japan’s cashless economy with Rakuten Payment services

    Since its launch in 2015, AirPAY has operated under an "all-in-one" strategy that allows a single service to cover multiple payment methods. As of late June 2022, around 300,000 stores are using our system. We have received many positive comments such as, "It's reliable as it accepts various payment methods," "It's so easy to use, there's no need to explain it to part-timers repeatedly," and "No fixed monthly fees and the low-set up cost are a huge plus." From the customer's perspective, they can make payments with the services they usually use.
    Through our collaboration with Rakuten Payment, we can now meet the needs of stores that wish to offer Rakuten Pay, Rakuten Point Card, and Rakuten Edy.
    In recent years, the volume of cashless transactions has continued to grow, and we believe this trend is now irreversible. Rakuten Pay, Rakuten Point Card, and Rakuten Edy have around 50 million users in Japan. By adding them as payment options, we believe that AirPAY can help accelerate the cashless trend in Japan and bring even more convenience to society.

    4. AirPAY

    AirPAY is a store payment service for stores that supports credit cards, electronic money, QR codes, and points. It can handle 36 types of payment methods by using a single card reader and an iPad or iPhone.
    Recruit launched the service in October 2015, and as of June 2022, the number of affiliated stores exceeded 304,000*1. It was also ranked number one*2for user satisfaction among in-store payment services. The number of affiliated stores in Japan continues to grow across a broad range of industries: beauty, dining, retail, and services, as well as via comprehensive collaboration agreements with local governments.

    By simply using AirPAY, stores can offer both domestic customers and international visitors desired payment methods, including major international credit cards, rechargeable prepaid IC travel cards, other e-money such as iD, QUICPay, and Apple Pay, as well as QR code payments via PayPay, d Payment, and Alipay. They can also support shared point programs such as T-POINT, Ponta, and d POINT. Handling fees are among the cheapest in the industry. Deposits can be made from three to six times a month, and there are no monthly fixed fees or transfer fees. Feedback from stores that have introduced the service includes, “Operation is easy, so even new part-timers can use it,” “Payments by card have risen almost tenfold in one year,” and “Since we only need one card reader to use the service, it is much neater around the cash register.” Furthermore, if it is used together with the free, easy-to-use POS cash register app AirREGI, all that is required at the time of purchase is to tap to select the payment method, making the process even easier. There is no need to remember different procedures for each payment method, which reduces mistakes at the register caused by having to repeat procedures. We will continue to support business owners in operating their businesses as they envision them and creating stores that are uniquely their own.

    About AirPAYTo an external site
    About AirPAY QRTo an external site
    About AirPAY PointTo an external site

    *1 In-house survey
    *2 Surveying body: Recruit Co., Ltd.、Survey agency: Intage Inc. (as of September 1, 2021)
    Product being surveyed: Cashless payment terminals available at stores in Japan (multi-payment)
    Survey target: Restaurants, retailers, and service businesses already using the product. For facilities, the survey targets individuals involved in the decision to implement the product or users of the product. (2,003 person)

    Air Business Tools, including AirPAY, reduces the time, effort, and costs associated with laborious business tasks, from accepting and processing reservations, accounting, and handling payments to staffing, shift management, fundraising, and invoice processing.
    We will continue to support business owners in operating their businesses as they envision them and creating stores that are uniquely their own.

    5. About Rakuten Payment

    Rakuten Payment, Inc. was established as part of the Rakuten Group in April 2019 to provide payment- and marketing-related services. It currently operates the following services: Rakuten Pay (app payments), Rakuten Pay (in-store payments), Rakuten Point Card, Rakuten Check, Rakuten Edy, and Rakuten Cash. The company provides customers with friendly, convenient, and secure payment services and merchants with a wide range of payment services tailored to their industries and line of business, as well as support through data-driven marketing programs.

    https://payment.rakuten.co.jp/To an external site

    Click hereTo an external site to read the original press release.