• Kyodo

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Ibaraki Prefecture is adopting cashless payments made using smartphones as a means to tap into data-driven marketing, and allow small and medium-sized businesses to benefit from a central government plan to offset a scheduled consumption tax hike by rewarding consumers for noncash purchases.

Prefectural officials on Tuesday signed an agreement with Tokyo-based startup Origami Inc., a QR-code payment service provider, in the hopes of using the payment data as it seeks new tourism development strategies, and to invigorate the local economy, the officials said.

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