Government to subsidize local ‘My Number’ reward schemes

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
People apply for My Number identification cards at a commercial facility in Saga in Feb. 2021.

The central government plans to subsidize points schemes linked to My Number identification cards operated by local governments, it has been learned.

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry will earmark ¥1.28 billion in its initial budget requests for fiscal 2023 to subsidize the local government schemes, through which residents will be able to earn My Number points when they make cashless payments at participating retail outlets.

The government wants to boost the uptake of My Number by increasing opportunities to use the identification cards.

Currently, people who sign up for a My Number card or register their ID as a public health insurance card get points worth up to ¥20,000.

Before the end of this fiscal year, local governments will also be able to issue My Number points under their own schemes.

In fiscal 2021, 20 local governments conducted trials, issuing My Number points to parents of newborns, young adults and shoppers, among other cases.

The government plans to provide subsidies to fund the initial costs involved in launching the system, and will also introduce payment settlement service companies to local governments.

The government wants all eligible residents to have a My Number card by the end of this fiscal year, but as of the end of July, only 45.9% had one.