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Japanese retailers Bic Camera and Recruit Lifestyle to start accepting bitcoin payments

After the law recognizing bitcoin as a legal method of payment went into effect in Japan this month, reports suggest two domestic retailers are planning to start accepting the digital currency for payments.

Nikkei Asian Review reports that Bic Camera and Recruit Lifestyle are entering into partnerships with bitcoin exchanges to accept bitcoin payments.

Consumer electronics retailer chain Bic Camera is collaborating with bitFlyer, a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange, and will start a trial run of the latter’s bitcoin payment system at its flagship shop in Tokyo's Yurakucho district and at Bicqlo Bic Camera, the hybrid outlet with Uniqlo located in Shinjuku.

Customers can pay up to 100,000 yen ($904) using bitcoin and will also get reward points at the same rate as for cash payments. Depending on the usage trends in these two stores, Bic Camera will decide whether to introduce this new payment option at other locations.

Human resources conglomerate Recruit Holdings’ retail arm Recruit Lifestyle is joining forces with another Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Coincheck. Recruit Lifestyle is introducing bitcoin as a payment option at shops that have adopted AirRegi, its point-of-sale app.

AirRegi is currently used at 260,000 eateries and other retail locations across the country. Businesses interested in introducing the new payment option can choose to install the bitcoin payment system alone. The app is also compatible with Alipay, the payment platform developed by Alibaba Group Holding.

Using devices provided by the store and one’s own smartphone, customers can deduct the amount on the bill from the designated bitcoin account. Coincheck will convert the digital currency into yen and then transfer the funds to the store.

By Shampa Mani
  • Market Data
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