A report from Nikkei today suggests that some Japanese retailers are quickly moving to embrace Bitcoin payments in the wake of a new law that recognizes the digital currency as a legal payment option for the nation’s citizens. Today’s report revealed that two of Japan’s largest retailer groups are ready to begin accepting Bitcoin, and have partnered with Bitcoin exchanges to facilitate the process.
Recruit Lifestyle, which serves as the retail arm for Recruit Holdings, is reportedly working with Tokyo exchange Coincheck to ensure that Bitcoin will be an accepted payment option at the company’s shops via its POS app, AirRegi.
The AirRegi app is already in use at roughly 260,000 restaurants and retail outlets throughout Japan, and that could help to ensure that more than a quarter-million Japanese stores have the ability to accept Japan within a few months. That would represent a dramatic increase from the 4,500 Japanese shops that accept Bitcoin today. Customers who use the app will have the Bitcoins deducted from their account and converted into yen by Coincheck.
Electronics retail giant Bic Camera is also set to accept Bitcoin payments. That company is partnering with bitFlyer for its payment process, and is expected to launch a trial of its system at two of its outlets at the end of the week. The current plan is to limit Customer Bitcoin expenditures to no more than 100,000 yen – worth roughly $900 US. Those purchases will also receive reward points using the same model applied to cash payments.