This is the first time Mastercard has signed an MOU with a local government prefecture in Japan
Mastercard has formed a 5-year strategic partnership with Wakayama Prefecture, according to the press release.
This partnership is expected to play a vital role in rebounding the local tourism industry, which was hard hit by the pandemic.
In preparation for the 2025 Osaka-Kansai World Exposition, which is expected to trigger a resurgence in inbound tourism, the MOU will promote the digitization of payments to create an enhanced experience for inbound tourists.
Mastercard and Wakayama Prefecture will work together to create an infrastructure that enables overseas visitors to make seamless, cashless payments in regional cities.
Work will be done to expand the implementation of global standards in Wakayama, with the aim of promoting cashless transactions and digital transformation in payment and settlement operations among SMBs in the prefecture.
Wakayama Prefecture and Mastercard will promote the implementation of international standard cashless payments systems, including the introduction of contactless payments using IC cards and smartphones.
Additionally, both parties will promote efficient payments operations at companies in the prefecture through the use of technologies such as virtual cards, which allow companies to issue unique virtual account numbers with set usage conditions to optimize accounts payable efficiency, reconciliation processes and data analysis. This is expected to streamline billing operations, reduce the risk of uncollected payments, and expand sales opportunities to new customers.
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