A government reward point program for holders of the My Number social security and taxation identification card started on Tuesday, attracting less than 10 percent of the expected number of applications so far.
The program was launched to mitigate the negative effects of last year’s consumption tax hike and speed up the spread of cashless payments. But critics doubt whether it will push up consumption as hoped by the government.
The program remains unpopular partly because some major credit card companies have not joined the program, in contrast to active participation by cashless payment services, including smartphone settlement and electronic money businesses.
Users of the program need to select one participating company before receiving reward points.
The program will provide points worth 25 percent of the value of cashless shopping or charges, with the ceiling set at ¥5,000 per person.
Participating cashless payment service providers and credit card businesses offer