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Business trends

E-money smart card payments hit record in Japan in December

Still highly popular, but growth slows down amid rise of competing services

Suica is one of Japan's most popular prepaid smart cards.

TOKYO --Electronic-money transactions using prepaid smart cards totaled a record 500.7 billion yen ($4.72 billion) in Japan in December, though the trend is slowing thanks to the widening use of other electronic payment methods and debit cards.

This is the first time the monthly figure has topped the 500 billion-yen mark. The annual total for 2017 came to a record 5.19 trillion yen, the Bank of Japan's Payment and Settlement Statics report shows.

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