Electronic money is money stored electronically, and spent by using a technical device, such as a smart card. If it is stored on a card, its use may be secured by a PIN code. In Japan, electronic money is commonly used to pay for train tickets. JR East’s prepaid train ticket (Suica) and JR West’s IC Operating card (ICOCA). Suica and ICOCA are plastic cards with a built-in IC chip. Suica was originally introduced in 2001.
In addition, many types of electronic money are used in other train stations in Japan. For example, Kitaca is electronic money in the Hokkaido area, Sugoca is used in the Kyusyu area, etc. Most electronic money is also used to pay for goods at convenience stores in Japan.
Note, that electronic money is always backed by real money. For this reason, cryptocurrencies cannot be used as electronic money.
- "Electronic money". European Central Bank. European Central Bank. Retrieved 2020-06-01.