Tuesday, 12th April 2016
In General Japan News,
Fingerprints to be used as currency in Japan
A new system is being launched in Japan to enable visitors to bypass having to change their currency and instead use their fingerprints to pay for items and services.
From the summer, when the technology will be implemented, it will be much quicker to check into hotels and make purchases, according to the Yomiuri newspaper.
The system will work with foreign visitors registering their fingerprints and credit cards, along with various other pieces of information upon arrival in Japan.
They will be able to do this at several international airports and a number of other convenient locations.
When it comes to pay, these registered tourists will be asked to place two fingers on a small device that reads the prints.
The amount will then be automatically deducted from the customer’s account and with the tax removed, as with all purchases made by visitors in Japan.
Another benefit for those who have registered, is that they will not need to hand over their passports every time they check into a hotel, as all the information will be associated with the fingerprint.
To begin with, it will only be selected retailers that accept fingerprints as a form of currency, as the system needs to be tested before it becomes more widespread.
Around 300 hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops will adopt the technology in its first phase, with the view to increasing this number over time.
Even the hot spring resort of Hakone and the coastal town of Kamakura will accept such payments, showing how Japanese advancements don’t leave out areas away from the big cities.
As well as proving convenient for visitors, the fingerprinting technology will provide the government with useful data on the spending habits of tourists.
Such information will then be used to ensure that improvements to infrastructure, services and the needs of foreigners are implemented in future.