Japan wants tourists to use their fingerprints to make purchases

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Japan is already one of most tourism-friendly countries in the world, even going so far as to offer free Wi-Fi to tourists, but there’s always room for improvement. In an effort to make it easier for tourists to purchase goods and services in the country, the Japanese government is planning to test a new system that would allow tourists to verify their identities and make purchases using nothing but their fingerprints. Not only would this speed up the process of buying things, it would remove the need for tourists to keep physical cash on them.

This summer, the Japanese government is set to begin testing a system that would allow foreign tourists to verify their identities and purchase goods and services using nothing more than a fingerprint. Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan sought to prevent crime and relieve traveller stress by omitting the need to carry cash or credit cards. The experiment would allow the government to fully evaluate the system before making any sweeping changes before the game. The experiment would feature fingerprint scanners at at popular retailers in tourist centers — a total of 300 souvenir shops, restaurants, hotels and other establishments . Under current government regulations, however, a passport would still be required to check in at a hotel — although the law would still allow for purchases via fingerprint during your stay. In October last year, the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Nagasaki introduced a similar system and reported that it worked well. According to a company spokesperson: “The system has been well received by customers, including those with children, since it saves them the trouble of taking their wallets out.”

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