7-Eleven as Innovater

If you’ve experienced 7-11 in Japan, this will not be a surprise:
Why 7-Eleven is one of today’s most innovative retailers – TechHQ

They’re not going to win any cool awards, but let’s give them some recognition for leveraging digital technologies to augment the physical retail experience.

7-Eleven stores are more high-tech than you think.

The company is, for instance, rolling out support for Apple Pay and Google Pay at a majority of its US stores throughout September, adding to other mobile payment options such as Samsung Pay.

According to Gurmeet Singh CDO and CIO at 7-Eleven, frictionless experiences are the future, and digital payments play a key role. The ability to pay with their smart devices gives people one more reason to shop with a retailer.

We’ve had most of this already. Other convenience stores like Lawson and Family Mart do many of the same things. That is US is so far behind a country where most restaurants only accept cash is kind of amazing.

Takadanobaba, Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

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iPhone X NFC debacle a golden opportunity for Pixel 3 in Japan

iPhone X NFC debacle a golden opportunity for Pixel 3 in Japan:

Apple pre-order weekend for iPhone XS/XS Max and Apple Watch Series 4 is winding down. There was far less excitement this year in Japan than before. Ming-Chi Kuo is already trimming his iPhone XS exceptions. Reading Japanese reactions on Twitter it’s easy to see that many are waiting to see what Japanese market support Google announces at the Pixel 3 October 9 event. If Pixel 3 comes with Global FeliCa support like iPhone does, the Google Pay Japan flop withstanding, Japanese iPhone X users disgusted by the iPhone X NFC debacle will gladly take switch.

A lot of Japanese in the blog sphere are saying Apple iPhone has peaked out in Japan. If that turns out to be true in the months ahead, Apple has nobody to blame but themselves.

(Via Ata Distance)

Hmmm. My personal Google Nexus 6P is on its last legs. If a new Pixel 3 could deliver a transit experience near to par of the iPhone … 

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Google Pay Japan is smoke and mirrors

Google Pay bellyflops in Japan:

That didn’t take long. No sooner had Google Pay landed in Japan when Android users without JP carrier locked Osaifu-Keitai phones noticed they weren’t invited to the FeliCa party and lost their shit. Then local Japanese tech journalists filed reviews and they were not kind: “zannen” which means “too bad” as in “too bad Google Pay is a weak imitation of a real FeliCa Osaifu-Keitai that any user could add and use on any Android phone.” Too bad it’s not a Global FeliCa iPhone.

I called it a few weeks ago:

If and when Google Pay Suica arrives it will likely be on Osaifu-Keitai /Mobile FeliCa enabled locked Android devices from Japanese carriers. Global FeliCa iPhone-like out-of-the-box Mobile Suica on ‘global FeliCa’ Android devices from anywhere looks to be a long way off.

FeliCa Dude called it earlier: “Android Pay is smoke and mirrors”

Google Pay Japan is smoke and mirrors.

(Via atadistance.com)

Not that my US-purchased Google Nexus 6P would have been included in this due to age if not build, but I would have liked a truly viable option to the Apple Pay & Suica combo. I’m not looking to switch but competition could be good for innovation.

Google Pay Suica Goes Live

Google Pay Suica Goes Live:

As anticipated by Android Police earlier this month Suica has officially launched on Google Pay in Japan. Mobile Suica has been available on the Android platform since 2011 via the Osaifu-Keitai e-wallet service offered by the major Japanese carriers NTT Docomo, KDDI au and Softbank.

With this rollout all the major stored value “prepaid” e-money cards are now on Google Pay: Suica, WAON, nananco and Rakuten EDY. JCB and JACCS credit card support and the Japanese P2P startup Kyash service is promised for later this summer. It’s not clear however what Android devices are supported beyond Osaifu-Keitai models from the major JP carriers. As I wrote earlier, FeliCa support on Android devices outside of the Japan market is a complicated story, Google support of FeliCa up to now has been uneven at best.

Hopefully we’ll get a clearer picture in the next few days.

(Via Ata Distance)

This might be too little, too late. Apple Pay has a huge lead here. The fragmented nature of Android devices doesn’t help.

UPDATE: More Google Pay Suica MIA:

Japanese Twitter users are posting lots of interesting details and the list of Google Pay Suica limitations continues to grow: one Suica per phone, limited (no?) Suica Commuter support, no Shinkansen e-tickets, Google Pay Suica transaction records only cover purchases, not transit, and so on.

Osaifu-Keitai Android users will continue to rely on the Mobile Suica app to cover the functions that Google Pay Suica does not support.

(Via Ata Distance)

UPDATE 2: Google Pay + HCE-F ≠ FeliCa Suica:

Google Pay users outside of Japan who do not have a Osaifu-Keitai compatible model are waking up to the rude fact that Google Pay does not give them all that FeliCa Apple Pay Suica-like goodness out of the box.

Google Pay Japan is exactly what Android Pay Japan was: a thin veneer over Osaifu-Keitai that confuses the hell out of Android users around the world. A lot of angry users will vent that this is a ‘Japanese tech’ failure but the reality is that this is simply a Google choice. Google could have licensed the entire FeliCa stack like Apple did but they didn’t.

My money says it is a market related political choice to keep the JP carriers happy selling carrier locked Android devices. The Android equivalent of the Global FeliCa iPhone has yet to appear.

(Via Ata Distance)

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