Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2008 (Revised May 2009)

Consumer Payment Systems — Japan

by Benjamin Edelman and Andrei Hagiu


In 2008, the Japanese consumer payments landscape featured ongoing widespread use of cash, limited use of credit cards and rapid rise of e-money systems based on contactless technology embedded in cards and especially mobile phones. The case details the alliances that created new products, as well as the regulations that sometimes stood in the way. Throughout, the case identifies incentives for both consumers and merchants, including direct costs, efficiency benefits, rebates, and treatment in case of loss or fraud.

Keywords: Personal Finance; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Two-Sided Platforms; Alliances; Competitive Strategy; Hardware; Mobile Technology; Japan;


Edelman, Benjamin, and Andrei Hagiu. "Consumer Payment Systems — Japan." Harvard Business School Case 909-007, August 2008. (Revised May 2009.) (request a courtesy copy.)