In Asia, Asia Council, Card-Linking

Participating Members

Rakuten logo

Collaboration intrinsic to card-linking's growth in Asia

The first CardLinx Asia Council was highly anticipated and surpassed expectations. Held on May 22, 2017 in Tokyo, the council brought together the leading card issuers, payment companies, retailers and card-linked offer (CLO) technology companies in Japan. Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company chaired the meeting and others in attendance included: AEON, DNP, Mastercard, Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS and Rakuten.

The mission of the CardLinx Asia Council is:

… to create a forum for collaboration among Asian based card issuers, processors, retailers, publishers and merchants to promote the growth of card-linking and online to offline commerce. The Council seeks to implement global standards as well as standards required for specific Asian countries. The initial focus of the CardLinx Asia council is the country of Japan, one of the largest payment card markets in Asia and the third largest economy in the world.

CardLinx CEO Silvio Tavares kicked off the meeting with a discussion about:

  • Technical overview of US and global card-linking technical structures
  • Consumer experience for issuers and non-issuers of card-linked offers
  • Technical implementation issues unique to the Japanese market
    • Common Merchant ID across issuer and payment networks
    • Access to real time authorization data
    • Common format for consumer consent
  • Areas and opportunities for technical collaboration in Japan

Sumitomo Mitsui Card Company’s Yoshio Kawana, General Manager of Merchant Acquiring Business Promotion Department led the discussion on:

  • The current state of CLO in Japan
  • Positives of current CLO programs
    • Acquisition of new customers
    • Enables visualization of the impact of customer acquisition efforts
  • Negatives of Current CLO Programs
    • Current user experience of confirming or entering CLO
    • Scale for attracting customers is small

Additional discussion topics include:

  • Overview of Japanese payment networks
  • Future challenges and opportunities for wide adoption of CLO programs
    • Increase consumer and merchant awareness
    • Expand the number of merchants, especially in rural areas
    • Improve the user interface
    • Optimize and automate offers
    • Automate the matching process
    • Expand the service target
    • Create an environment to ease participation (data standardization, platform, business model)

Next steps agreed upon during meeting:

  • Asia Council will meet every quarter to discuss pertinent issues in the Japanese market
  • Two user groups were created to be headed by members of the Asia Council.
    • Merchant ID User Group To create a standardized Merchant ID and API format for use in card-linking.
    • CLO Matching and Transaction Data User Group To create a shared database and API for matching of card-linked offer transactions in real time. Currently in Japan, this is done at settlement and not at authorization.
    • Participation of the user groups is open to all CardLinx members. Companies interested in participating should email Ester Shin, the CardLinx Meeting Manager.