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    Recruit In-Store Payment Service AirPAY Starts Accepting JCB’s Smart Code™ (A Total of 55 Payment Brands Now Supported by AirPAY)

    Oct 26, 2022 | Recruit

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    Recruit Co., Ltd. has announced that its in-store payment service, AirPAY, starts accepting Smart Code from JCB Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Chairman and Executive Officer: Ichiro Hamakawa, hereinafter referred to as JCB) from 26th October. Under the Smart Code umbrella, 17 new payment brands are added to the AirPAY system, meaning a total of 55 payment brands are supported by AirPAY.

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    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. As the number of payment brands, the AirPAY system can handle increases, the more user-friendly the service will become for both stores and customers.
    With AirPAY, stores can offer both domestic and international customers various methods of payment, 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.
    Smart Code — a scheme provided by JCB — is the latest payment brand to be added under the AirPAY umbrella. Smart Code reduces the burden on QR payment companies and stores by providing a payment processing center that connects JCB with QR payment companies and stores and unifies affiliate contracts making it safe and secure for consumers. It is a settlement scheme that creates a smooth settlement process. It supports 19 QR payment brands (as of September 2022), such as Merpay and EPOS PAY.
    The new payment brands that can be used with the addition of Smart Code are as follows. (Order of the Japanese syllabary) atone, ANA Pay, EPOS PAY, giftee premo plus, Ginko Pay*2 (OKI Pay, COi Pay, Hama Pay, Hokuhoku Pay, Yucho Pay, YOKA!Pay), K PLUS, FamiPay, pring, Paydon, Merpay, LaLaPay, Lu Vit Pay.

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    Alongside the addition of Smart Code, Rakuten Pay, a QR code payment provided by Rakuten Payment Co., Ltd. and payment brand TrueMoney — under the umbrella of China's major QR code payment Alipay — will join from 26th October 2022. With these additions, the number of payment brands supported by AirPAY will increase significantly from 36 brands to 55.

    *1 QR code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED. Same below.
    *2 Ginko Pay is a service that allows users to make instant payments directly from their bank account using a smartphone app.

    2. Background

    Cashless payment ratio exceeds 30% — 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 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 Smart Code offers further support for shops and customers - 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 Smart Code 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.

    Joining forces with Smart Code to help promote cashless payments in Japan

    AirPAY is available in 300,000 stores (as of the end of June 2022). Since 2015, when Recruit launched the service, we have been operating with an "all-in-one" strategy that allows us to support various payment methods with a single service. Customers who use the service say that it is safe because it supports all payment methods, that it is simple to use, that there is no need to explain it repeatedly to part-time staff and that it is easy to use. The low cost and no fixed costs have also been points of praise.
    AirPAY starts accepting Smart Code through cooperation with JCB, and there are 55 types of payment methods available through the system. We hope that by using the service, stores can respond flexibly to their customers' preferred payment methods. In recent years, the ratio of cashless payments has continued to rise, and we believe this trend is irreversible. Through AirPAY, we hope to help accelerate Japan's cashless trend and make further inroads in creating a convenient society.

    4.About AirPAY

    AirPAY is a store payment service that supports credit cards, electronic money, QR codes, and points. It can handle various 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 *2 for 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.
    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.

    *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)

    5.About Smart Code

    Smart Code is JCB's payment scheme that connects code payment companies and stores. It handles 19 QR code payment brands (as of September 2022) collectively and reduces the burden on stores by providing a payment processing center and unifies affiliate contracts.
    https://www.smart-code.jp/about/To an external site

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