Cashless payments have become a nightmare for victims of Japan’s disaster – the “cashless society” is in doubt

A few days ago, Japan’s North Sea earthquake triggered a large-scale disconnection of the network, Sapporo Instant became the “dark capital”, it is expected that the local power system needs more than a week to complete repair.

1.95 million residents flooded supermarkets and convenience stores to buy supplies. But some people who usually only pay by mobile phone do not bring cash, but are trapped in the dilemma of “having money” and not being able to buy things.

On September 6th, an anonymous discussion version of the Japan Forum, there was an article about crazy electronic payment, “Sapporo people who only use electronic payment, be done for!” 

The netizen in the text says, “I’m used to using Apple Pay. I never carry my wallet when I go out. and there was almost no cash around.”

Convenient e-payments are a nightmare for the victims of power cuts

Early in the morning, after the strong earthquake Sapporo met a large-scale blackout. Netizen check the refrigerator in the home, the results found only the milk and mayonnaise, so rushed to the supermarket to buy life supplies.

When he arrived at the supermarket, he found that he had no cash at all. He felt uneasy at the sight of Apple Pay on his mobile phone, with an iphone that left only 62% of his battery.

When it was his turn, the clerk told him that electronic payments were temporarily unavailable. It’s no use going anywhere else.

At seven o’clock that night, he sat alone at home, hungry. As the power supply was still not recovered, it was impossible to get cash from the ATM, which gave him the feeling that everything was going to be ruined.

In addition to the tragic experience of the Sapporo Netizen, many victims also said that they were accustomed to using electronic payments, without cash, only to watch others buy food.

Although there are also a few stores and stores have started the standby power supply, allowing customers to use electronic payment. But the long blackout in Hokkaido has left many people worried that Japan, which often faces earthquakes and tsunamis, can really adapt to the “cashless society”?

Only 18.4 per cent of Japanese use electronic payments, far less than in China and South Korea

Prior to that, the Japanese Government had considered offering subsidies and tax credits to encourage traders to accept cashless payment options such as electronic payments and to promote cashless payments before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Our website has a detailed report on this,

please see:Japan strives to promote cashless payments before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

In February Stefan Ingves, the governor of Sweden’s central bank, also warned. He said the cashless society had no resistance in the face of war or natural disasters, and the huge social financial system would collapse in an instant.

Sweden is currently the only country in the world to fully promote the electronic currency, and the use of cash is almost invisible to the private sector.