Fast and convenient, mobile payment apps are taking over the world—Japan included. The mobile wallet market is challenging Japanese society’s love of coins and crisp banknotes. In 2018, 25% of smartphone owners had made at least one purchase using their mobile phone, a trend likely to boom in 2019.
But before Japan kneels before a cashless world, it needs a strong guarantee that citizens’ privacy and security aren’t being sacrificed at the altar of convenience.
Luckily, we have the recent 7Pay app fiasco to give us all a good wake-up call that mobile pay isn’t always the savior we need.
7Pay: 3 days, 900 clients hacked, ¥55 million stolen
Launched on July 1, 7-Eleven’s shiny new mobile-wallet app 7-Pay crashed as fast as you can say irrashaimase.
In brief, hackers (but it could just as well have been your technology-challenged grandmother) were able to steal about ¥55 million in payments due to serious security vulnerabilities. The parent company Seven & i Holdings Co. even managed to anger the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (and those guys still use fax) for not following sufficient security guidelines. For a recap of this drama, warm-up some popcorn and read all about it here.
Twitter is very amused
Rumors that 7-Pay users were noticing unexpected transactions on their accounts quickly spread on social media.
— 下流人生 、風俗日記 (@karyujinsei) July 6, 2019
This is embarrassing but I signed up and put some money [on 7-Pay] just to receive a free onigiri. Stupid, isn’t it? By doing this, I got ¥400,000 stolen [from my account]”
This very expensive freebie was then artfully summarized in this illustration tweeted by user @doppelscheisse.
— ✌✌ (@doppelscheisse) July 4, 2019
7pay騒動を要約した画像が面白くて面白くて… = This really, really entertaining image perfectly sums the 7-Pay fiasco…
We can almost hear the laughter coming from 7-Eleven’s main competitors, together nicknamed the “Four Heavenly Kings”—a reference to four Buddhist gods—a.k.a. the top four convenience store brands in Japan.
— みらー (@MILLER_niko) July 4, 2019
= 7-Eleven: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhh” (*Dies*)
Famima: “Oh… 7-Pay got killed…”
Lawson: “LOLZ… Well, their app was the weakest of the Four Kings’ apps”
Ministop: “Yeah, this is a disgrace to QR payments…”
7-Eleven/Famima/Lawson: “Uh, Ministop you don’t even have a payment app!”
How to use the kanji 最
While we can’t say for sure which convenience store offers the best mobile wallet app, we can definitely label 7-Pay as the weakest. You’ve probably spotted “最” a recurring kanji symbolizing “most” or “extreme” before this tweet.
Time to review a few pairs:
最弱 VS 最強 = The weakest VS the strongest
最低 VS 最高 = The lowest VS the highest
最悪 VS 最善 = The worst VS the best
最初 VS 最後 = The first VS the last
最短 VS 最長 = The shortest VS the longest
最新 VS 最古 = The latest VS the oldest
|個||ko||counter for small object|
|チャージする||chaaji suru||charge/load/put money (on)|
|取られる||torareru||to be stolen|
|騒動||soudou||turmoil, fiasco, disaster|
|四天王||shintennou||Four Heavenly Kings|
|決済||kessai||settlement, payment method|
||nai||there is not|
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