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Economy

Japan's love of cash is a costly business

ATM running costs, inefficient competition cost economy $17bn a year

Different bankbook designs are one reason Japanese banks cannot share their ATMs.

TOKYO -- If you go out for drinks with your colleagues in Japan, chances are that you end up doing warikan at the end of the night. And the warikan, or the splitting of the bill evenly, is most likely done in cash despite almost everyone having plastic and electronic money in their wallets. Thanks to this die-hard affection for cash, Japan loses over 2 trillion yen ($17.6 billion) every year.

The Japanese are one of the most cash-loving peoples in the advanced world. According to Boston Consulting Group, about 65% of payments in Japan are settled in cash, more than twice the average 32% among other rich economies.

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