Osaka Expo to Be Cashless

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The site of the 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo in Konohana Ward, Osaka

The 2025 Osaka-Kansai Expo is likely to be a cashless event, utilizing a dedicated electronic money app called the Expo Digital Wallet, it has been learned.

It would be the first time a World Expo has been entirely cashless.

The Japan Association for the 2025 World Exposition expects to attract about 28.2 million visitors to the six-month event, which kicks off in April 2025.

By going cashless, the organizers hope to reduce crowding at cash registers, mitigate the spread of viruses, and accelerate the rollout of digital transactions in Japan.

Visitors will have to download the digital wallet app on their smartphones and add funds from their bank accounts or credit cards. The Expo organizer is also planning to let visitors pay by credit card, transportation IC card or QR code. Visitors without smartphones will be able to purchase prepaid cards.

An Expo loyalty scheme will also be launched, and visitors will be able to use accrued points at the event. The organizers will also ask stores outside the Expo venue to accept the loyalty points.

Last year, the organizers selected Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc., Resona Holdings Inc., SBI Holdings Inc. and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. to process the cashless payments.

The companies, which have been jointly working on the design and operation of the payment system, will provide more than 900 terminals free of charge and develop the system with a view to utilizing it after the Expo.