One payment option is disappearing in less than a week.

A few days ago, Amazon Japan made an announcement through its Seller Central discussion forum, but it’s one that affects buyers as well. The e-commerce giant will be altering its payment options policy, and shoppers will no longer be able to choose to pay by cash on delivery, or daikin hikikae (代金引換), as it’s called in Japanese. The option is being removed for all items sold through Amazon Japan, both those sold by Amazon itself and those offered through Amazon Marketplace.

This won’t matter to the many shoppers who already chose to pay for their online shopping with credit cards, but the new policy might be a problem for some members of Japan’s foreign resident community. While it’s not impossible for foreigners to get credit cards in Japan, obtaining one can be a frustrating struggle. Reasons aren’t always given for rejected applications, but non-permanent residency is generally considered a credit risk, as is income that’s relatively low or irregular, which is often the case for foreigners in Japan working in teaching positions or doing freelance work. It’s not that those factors contribute to a card with a lower credit limit, either, but that they lead to the application being rejected in whole.

So if you’re legally living and working in Japan, but can’t get a credit card, cash on delivery was a very handy thing if you were buying something from Amazon Japan, but one that’s going to be going away soon.

Thankfully, there is still a way to buy things through Amazon Japan and pay for them in cash, though it involves a few extra steps. Amazon Japan will be continuing to offer “convenience store payment” (コンビニ払い) as a payment option. With this method, when you place your order with Amazon, you receive a confirmation email with a payment number. You then take that payment number to a branch of the 7-Eleven, Family Mart, Lawson, MiniStop, Daily Yamazaki/Yamazaki Store, or Seico Mart convenience stores, where you either plug the number into the in-store ticket payment kiosk or show it to a clerk at the register. You can then pay for your online purchase in cash, and when Amazon receives confirmation of the payment, they’ll ship your item to you.

▼ Once again, Japanese convenience stores are awesome.

Alternatively, credit card-less shoppers can transfer the necessary money to Amazon Japan from their bank account using either an ATM or their bank’s online money transfer services, though these usually require a service fee.

Amazon has given no reason for the policy change other than “continuing efforts to improve both buyers’ and sellers’ experiences.”

The last day for cash-on-delivery payments for Amazon Japan orders will be June 5.

Source: Amazon Japan (1, 2, 3), Impress Net Shop via Yahoo! Japan News via Jin
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