Major steps have been taken in Japan as retailers began their roll out of Bitcoin-ready Point of Sale software in over 260,000 stores this week. Recruit Lifestyle, one of Japan’s leading retail corporations, is forging the way in implementing digital currencies as another form of day to day payment.
Three months ago, Recruit Lifestyle made the news when they partnered with Japanese Bitcoin exchange Coincheck to build a Point of Sale app that would readily accept Bitcoin in stores around the country.
“Mobile Payment for Air Regi,” as it is known, is now ready to be implemented and the first stage of the uptake into the retail market is through 334 eyeglass stores which will officially accept Bitcoin come July 10.
This marks another big step in the utilization of Bitcoin in Japan with this announcement coming just two days after the eight percent consumption tax was removed from digital currencies by the government.
As easy as barcode scanning
The retail acceptance of Bitcoin has not quite found its feet yet in the mainstream. There are still differing ideas of how to implement it to the best effect. For Recruit Lifestyle and their app, they have gone with a simple barcode system that allows those holding Bitcoin to scan a code on the Mobile Payment app to transact in the digital currency.
In total, over 260,000 stores from drugstores to fast food restaurants use this Point of Sale app that is now ready to accept Bitcoin alongside traditional means. The use of this proprietary app now gives those stores the ability to easily offer Bitcoin as a method of payment to regular customers.
Seeing Bitcoin clearly
The first line of stores that will be accepting Bitcoin will be the 334 eyeglass stores who have quickly taken the plunge into the world of digital payment. The stores, called Megane Super, will be setting a bold precedent with the hope being that their success will lead to further uptake, particularly in Europe and the US.
Besides the benefits to the clients, and the digital currency itself, the stores are also expecting increased business from tech-savvy tourists who seek out these innovative stores to spend Bitcoin in retail shops that once took only cash and card.
To the moon
With the 260,000 stores all in line with this roll out in the near future, there are further plans for expanding the Bitcoin-ready app into more stores in Japan. Other shops, beyond those already under Recruit Lifestyle’s umbrella, will be co-operating with the retail giant to utilize Air Regi Bitcoin payments in their own expansion into digital currencies.
Coincheck has also been working beyond just its own app to entice more retailers to use Bitcoin, signing up merchants to accept digital currency directly. There are already over 5,000 Bitcoin accepting stores in Japan with Coincheck breaking into more diverse retail markets. Popular capsule hotels, as well as property management firms, have all bought into the digital currency, as well as Kai Corporation, who are involved in five unique restaurants.
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