TOKYO -- In response to the growing number of foreign visitors, McDonald's Holdings (Japan) has decided to start taking credit card payments at all its restaurants.
Beginning this summer, all major international credit card brands as well as electronic money will be accepted. By 2019, new card readers will be installed in all 2,900 locations nationwide, including contactless payment terminals compatible with Mastercard Contactless, Visa payWave and smartphones loaded with e-money.
In 2008, McDonald's Japan began introducing three types of electronic payment methods: NTT Docomo's iD service, Aeon's Waon and Rakuten's Edy. Almost all major e-money used in Japan will now be accepted at McDonald's stores, with the addition of transit e-money Pasmo and Suica, as well as Seven & i Holdings' prepaid card nanaco.
McDonald's Japan serves as a rare example of a major Japanese fast-food chain responding to the proliferation of payment methods. Most have been hesitant to introduce credit cards, fearing long payment times and processing fees. Companies such as burger chain Mos Food Services and beef bowl purveyor Yoshinoya Holdings still do not accept these forms of payment.
However, credit cards are commonly accepted in restaurant chains outside Japan. As the Tokyo 2020 Olympics nears and the number of foreign visitors increases, McDonald's hopes to leapfrog competitors with the new payment methods. The company also believes the popularity of e-money in Japan will make the method more convenient for domestic customers.