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Q: Accepting Online Payments In Japan ( Answered,   5 Comments )
Subject: Accepting Online Payments In Japan
Category: Computers > Software
Asked by: bay_area_programmer-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 03 Jun 2006 21:23 PDT
Expires: 03 Jul 2006 21:23 PDT
Question ID: 735131
How can my California based e-commerce site accept online payments
from customers in Japan?

I am creating an e-commerce site for selling subscriptions to a weekly
newsletter. I have completely localized this website to the Japanese
language (kanji). However, I need to find out how I can accept online
payments from customers in Japan, and then transfer those funds at
some future date to my bank account.

I would have liked to have used PayPal. However, as far as I can tell,
PayPal is not in common use amongst Japanese online consumers.
Furthermore, PayPal does not have a Japanese-language localized
payment interface.

Unfortunately, I have no presence in Japan, so I cannot (as far as I
can tell) open a bank account in a Japanese bank.

Is there a PayPal-equivalent that is widely used in Japan which I can
use to accept online payments? 

If I were a Japanese consumer using Skype, how would I pay for it? My
subscription billing model is very similar to Skype, so if Skype has
already figured out how to accept payments in Japan I would like to
use the same method.
Subject: Re: Accepting Online Payments In Japan
Answered By: hummer-ga on 05 Jun 2006 10:37 PDT
Hi bay_area_programmer,

If you can accept Visa and MasterCard plus JCB, you will be fine.
Personally, I have processed orders from Japan and after checking my
records, have found that 3/4 used Visa and 1/4 used MasterCard (JCB
was not an option). The most popular form of payment in Japan is
actually COD, meaning the order is shipped to a local convenience
store ("Conbinis" or 7-Eleven) and the customer pays for it when they
pick it up. This wouldn't be an viable option for you because it would
require you to make special arrangements with the conbinis.

"More than 30 million Japanese consumers have made purchases online,
and the preferred method of payment by these consumers is the JCB
Card. JCB holds a 40 percent market share in the Japanese credit card
industry. Although the majority of JCB cardholders are in Japan, when
you accept the JCB Card, you can reach more than 45 million new
consumers in more than 17 countries worldwide."

Q: How many cardmembers does JCB have?
A: 54 million JCB cardmembers worldwide use their cards to purchase
over US$42 billion of goods and services annually in 189 countries

Wells Fargo is not the only bank which can add JCB to your merchant account -

1. Are you processing Visa and MasterCard with the following  Bank
Card Partnerships?
"To add JCB to your system is simple if you process your bank card
process with the following institutions:
Bank of America 		
First Hawaiian Bank
Bank of Hawaii 		
First National Merchant Solutions
Chase Paymentech Solutions 		
Global Payments
FDCS Alliances 
   Card Service International
   Wells Fargo 
Innovative Merchant Solutions
Nova Informations Systems
Union Bank of California	
US Bank
First Data Commercial Services
You can start accepting the JCB Card by following 2 simple steps!
1. Contact your customer service representative at your acquiring
processor and let them know that you want to start taking the JCB
   Add the JCB Card to your contract.
   Ask for your terminal help desk phone number if you do not have one yet.
2. Contact your terminal help desk and add JCB to your credit card terminal system.
Now you are ready to accept the JCB Card!"

"If you are not processing with our bank card Partnership Processors,
you can add JCB to your system directly with us.
   All applicants must be businesses.
   Each JCB direct merchant application received from prospective
businesses are subject to approval by JCB's applicable policy. The
application may be turned down if it is not in compliance with JCB's
direct merchant policy.
Necessary Documents to Process Your Application
   JCB Merchant Agreement included in application packet
   Merchant Account Application included in application packet
   Merchant Information Form included in application packet
   A copy of a voided check"

"The first out of the box e-commerce software with a Japanese
Front-End and English Back-End!"

I was glad to work on this for you. If you have any questions, please
post a clarification request and wait for me to respond before
closing/rating my answer. By the way, wire transer is quite pricey
($25-50) in North America and really wouldn't be worth it for 1000 yen

Thank you,

Some Google search terms used:
e-commerce jcb
japanese e-commerce
japan e-commerce
credit card processing yen
online ordering japanese
credit cards japan
japan jcb e-commerce

Request for Answer Clarification by bay_area_programmer-ga on 15 Jun 2006 00:37 PDT
As stonemen2-ga has pointed out, there is a big fraud problem with
Credit Cards in Japan. Restricting payments for my service to credit
cards seems to be a poor decision, considering that I do not yet have
an established reputation in Japan.

Surely, there are Japanese online services companies that have solved this problem.

How would a Japanese consumer go about paying for Yahoo Auctions (big
in Japan) or an MMORPG in Japan? Is there a Paypal-equivalent in
Japan? (Paypal does not have a  Japanese-language localized interface)

Clarification of Answer by hummer-ga on 15 Jun 2006 07:26 PDT
Hi bay_area_programmer,

Buyers do use their Visa, MasterCard, Diners and JCB on Yahoo!
Auctions by using "Yahoo Payment" (Kantan-kessai) or "easy payment".
PayPal is also used.

Japanese Online Auction And Payment Market
- Kantan Kessai (Easy Payment): online credit card and bank payment service
Major CtoC payment method is through bank wire transfer
- Payment by stamps used for low-price items
- Easy payment by promoting Kantan Kessai (Easy Payment) and
to-be-established Yahoo! Bank

Example of Yahoo Store in Japan:

Yahoo!Kantan-kessai(VISA,Master,Diners&JCB) or PayPal. No personal
checks and Bank Money Order.

 -Payment must be arranged by International Postal Money Order, Paypal
or Yahoo Payment (Yahoo KANTAN-KESSAI).;sigmaww

We accept International Postal Money Order, PayPal or Yahoo Payment
(Yahoo KANTAN-KESSAI);sigmaww

In regards to credit card fraud, all merchants accept that risk as
part of doing business. It doesn't matter where the customer is
located, North America, Europe, or Asia, fraudulent orders are
something to look out for.  There are many ways to protect yourself,
here is a good place to start (free to join and to use many merchant

Merchant 911

Join Merchant 911 and prevent fraud!

Interesting eBay discussion:

Who sells to Japan? Who does not? What are your experiences?

If I were you, I would offer Visa, MasterCard, JCB, and PayPal.
International Money Orders are good too, but I understand that the
delay in payment may not work well for you.  The idea is to offer a
variety of payment options, take reasonable precautions against fraud
(no matter which country the order is from), and you should be fine.

Subject: Re: Accepting Online Payments In Japan
From: fatguy-ga on 04 Jun 2006 18:09 PDT
you can try  

hope it help.. man
Subject: Re: Accepting Online Payments In Japan
From: bay_area_programmer-ga on 04 Jun 2006 23:13 PDT
It looks like I'm going to have to open an online merchant account
with Wells Fargo and then contact JCB to enable my merchant account to
accept JCB cards.

It seems that JCB is a popular method of payment in Japan. I do not
know, however, whether JCB is widely used to make online payments in
Japan. Would people use it to make a 1000 Yen purchase online?

Apparently Japanese consumers like to make payments using bank
transfers. However, I can't figure out how to accept those transfers
through my website.
Subject: Re: Accepting Online Payments In Japan
From: stonemen2-ga on 07 Jun 2006 18:01 PDT
As a payment option for your Japanese subscribers, you might consider
accepting Japanese international postal money orders made payable to
your in US dollars for your subscription payments.  The money orders
can be cashed at your local post office. I can't recall the exact cost
to the Japanese for the Money Order but it's reasonable.  Check with
the US Post Office for the details about the cost of cashing the money

I think Japanese would be reluctant to give out credit card
information to a foreign company because of the well publicized recent
surge of fraudulent credit card use.

Good luck with your newsletter.

Fukuoka, Japan
Subject: Re: Accepting Online Payments In Japan
From: bay_area_programmer-ga on 15 Jun 2006 00:53 PDT

It's great to get some advice from someone who lives in Japan. I was
hoping you might be familiar with how consumers in Japan pay for
online services.

Specifically, if we were both living in Japan, and I wanted to pay you
directly (for an auction on Yahoo Auctions, for example), how would I
do it? Would I mail you a check or use a service like PayPal? Or, is
it uncommon for Japanese consumers to pay each other directly?
Subject: Re: Accepting Online Payments In Japan
From: stonemen2-ga on 09 Aug 2006 20:07 PDT

Just today I saw your June response message to me. That's why I have
not responded sooner.

We operate a 100% Japanese internet business. We sell products not a
service such as you intend to do. Payments to us are made in the
following ways (in order of popularity):  1. electronic funds transfer
into our account from customer's postal account or bank account over
the internet or institution's ATM system, 2. COD, 3. customer sends us
cash.  Banks charge a fee for trasferring the funds which the customer
pays. We pay nothing to receive the funds. We offer JCB but customers
rarely use it and we don't promote it because JCB charges us a 5% fee.
I'd be happy to assist you with any more of your questions about
payments in Japan. Just let me know. Jim

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