While cash is still king in Japan, the country has been shifting towards becoming a more cashless society. In fact, World Expo 2025 will be held in Osaka, Japan—and will be “the first world’s fair to be entirely cashless.”
That’s quite a move for a country that has been historically clinging to cash. But, it also points to the moves many regions—in addition to Japan—are making in keeping up with changing times, and giving consumers more flexibility in how they pay for goods and services.
A Cashless Event
According to NFCW, during World Expo 2025—which will take place from April 13, 2025 through Oct. 13, 2025—visitors will be able to use their phones to make contactless payment purchases both within the venue and throughout Osaka.
They’ll also be encouraged to use their digital wallets—or purchase a prepaid card to use on-site during the event—and earn loyalty points during the expo. What’s more, a blockchain-based payment app will also launch at the event. Cash will not be accepted.
Roughly 28 million visitors are expected at World Expo 2025, Nikkei Asia reports, and the event overall, will certainly change how Japan—and the 153 countries and regions participating—will view digital payments going forward.
A More Cashless Society
There are many advantage of moving beyond cash, and this increasing acceptance of digital and contactless payments is steadily becoming more widespread.
Greece, like Japan, has been slower to adopt to cashless payments, primarily because businesses want to avoid taxes. But amid the pandemic, the shift towards credit and debit payments become more prevalent. And that momentum hasn’t slowed.
Similarly, in India, a QR code has connected many to the country’s instant payments system, which has changed how consumers transact.
While cash may remain king in certain countries and regions, there’s no doubt there’s been a shift that occurred at the start of the pandemic to more digital and contactless forms of payment, and we don’t expect this to slow down or change anytime soon.