recruit logo

    Newsroom

    • Products / Services

    AirPAY QR Adds Eight New Overseas Payment Brands Cashless Payments Targeting Inbound Tourism Now Compatible with QR Code Payments from Italy, Mongolia, and Macao

    Nov 15, 2023 | Recruit

    logo recruit

    This document is a translation of a press release issued by Recruit Co., Ltd. on November 15th, 2023 (JST) and is provided as a reference material. If there is any discrepancy between this translated version and the original Japanese version, the original Japanese version prevails.

    Recruit Co., Ltd, the operator of smartphone-based QR code*1 payment service AirPAY QR, will add support for eight new international QR code payment brands starting from November 15, 2023. This expansion aligns with the increased compatibility of the cross-border payment service Alipay+ from China's Ant Group. With this enhancement, AirPAY QR will now support QR code payments in countries including Italy, Mongolia, and Macao, broadening the range of cashless payment services available to foreign visitors in Japan.

    *1 QR code is a registered trademark of DENSO WAVE INCORPORATED. Same below.

    International QR code payments supported through Alipay+

    20231115 ja001

    The eight brands available for use from November 15, 2023.

    20231115 ja002

    Brands available for use before November 14, 2023.

    Overview

    The "AirPAY QR" QR code payment service — offered by AirPAY, a versatile payment platform accommodating cards, electronic money, QR codes, and points — has extended its range of supported overseas QR code payment brands. Effective November 15, 2023, eight new international QR code payment brands have been integrated, reaching a total of 16. Utilizing the Alipay+ platform since March 2023, support for eight QR code payment brands from Asian countries, including Thailand and the Philippines, was already in place. With the recent inclusion of QR code payment brands from countries, such as Italy, Mongolia, and Macao, the comprehensive support for overseas brands has expanded to 16.

    AirPAY QR can be set up free of charge, and its functionality updates automatically. As a result, no specific tasks are required once implemented, enabling seamless support for cashless payments both domestically and internationally. This streamlines business operations and enhances the experience for foreign visitors in Japan, allowing them to enjoy a comfortable and convenient payment experience by using their home country's QR code payment services. In the future, we will continue to enhance and improve the functionality of payment brands, striving for further service enhancement to realize a world where AirPay QR offers a one-stop solution for all QR code payments.

    Service Details
    Monthly Fixed Cost: Free

    Background

    With the relaxation of COVID-19 related travel restrictions for international travelers, inbound tourism demand in Japan has recovered to pre-pandemic levels. In September 2023, the number of foreign visitors to Japan reached approximately 2.18 million, representing a recovery of 96.1%*2 compared to the same month in 2019. Notably, from the newly added QR code payment brand-compatible countries, South Korea and Italy, record-high numbers*3 were recorded in September, with approximately 570,000 and 15,000 visitors, respectively. For many travelers, exchanging currency to Japanese yen and preparing cash can take time and effort, therefore, there is an increased demand for cashless options. On the other hand, businesses need to adapt to cashless payments to avoid potential revenue loss as the cashless needs of consumers diversify, but adapting to these evolving cashless needs independently can be challenging.

    With the addition of eight QR code payment brands, AirPAY QR can now cater to a broader range of international requirements, and moving forward, we aim to expand the usage by enabling businesses to adapt effortlessly to domestic and international cashless needs. Our goal is to create a world where consumers can make payments with their preferred means regardless of location, contributing to the realization of a globally accessible cashless society.

    *2 *3 Japan National Tourism Organization "2023 Visitor Arrivals & Japanese Overseas Travelers" estimated data for September 2023: Link to the source
    https://www.jnto.go.jp/news/20231018_1500_monthly.pdfpdf download

    About AirPAY

    AirPAY is a store payment service for stores that supports credit cards, electronic money, QR codes, and points. It can handle 56 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 March 2023, the number of affiliated stores exceeded 394,000*4. It was also ranked number one*5 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, Rakuten Pay, d Payment, and AliPay. They can also support shared point programs such as d POINT, Ponta, and Rakuten 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.

    *4 In-house survey
    *5 Survey commissioned by: Recruit Co., Ltd.; survey conducted by: Macromill, Inc.; product: mPOS.; target: MF18-69 who work at a store that uses a mPOS; sample size: 1,613; survey period January 18 - January 27, 2023; survey method: internet

    About AirPAY QR

    AirPAY QR is an optional AirPAY service that supports smartphone QR code payments. This includes Alipay, the largest mobile payment app in China, WeChat pay, as well as domestic services such as d Payment and PayPay. AirPAY QR makes the payment process more convenient, draws customers, and promotes sales. AirPay QR can be used independently.

    AirPAYTo an external site (Japanese only)
    AirPAY QRTo an external site (Japanese only)

    About Alipay+

    Alipay+ is a cross-border digital payment and comprehensive marketing solution provided by Ant Group. Consumers can seamlessly make payments using their familiar payment methods while traveling abroad and enjoy various benefits. Additionally, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can enhance operational efficiency by leveraging the digital tools of Alipay+, enabling them to achieve growth through omnichannel strategies.

    https://www.alipayplus.com/To an external site

    Click here To an external site to read the original press release.