By 2020, Japan plans to have fingerprint scanners across the country.
Written by Meredith Carey – April 11, 2016
Forgot to bring your credit card? That shouldn’t be a problem.
The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are going to be high tech. We wouldn’t expect anything less from Japan, who seems to think of just about everything, from hedgehog cafes to animatronic dinosaur receptionists. But starting this summer, the country will be rolling out a new plan for tourists, who can register their fingerprints and credit card information upon arrival at Japan’s airports to pay with just a two-finger scan. Launching in over 300 shops, restaurants, and hotels in Hakone and Kamakura, coastal towns just south of Tokyo, the fingerprint payment program will allow tourists to easily check into their hotels without showing their passport (currently required by law) and all purchases using fingerprints will be tax-free.
Japan plans to double its tourists by the Olympic opening ceremony in 2020 and the latest alternative payment program is just one effort among many (including hiring ninjas) to increase their foreign visitors. The country hopes to have the scanners available at all points of purchase by the start of the Olympics. While the program is in place to not only ease payment and access for tourists, it will also provide data to the Japanese government, according to the Telegraph. The scanning system will help the government study the spending patterns of foreign visitors, meaning some tourists may understandably cite privacy concerns.