Mercari pilots one-month credit scheme in Japan

05 Jun 2017

Japan’s mobile-only flea market Mercari.com seems relentless in its effort to grow its user base by introducing catchy consumer services one after the other. From today (June 5), the c-to-c marketplace offers buyers one month credit on every purchase for a (small) flat fee.

For example, if a customer makes a purchase between June 4 and June 21, he will be expected to pay a month later – sometime from July 4, according to a news release. The credit limit is 20,000 Japanese yen ($182 U.S.), and a flat fee of 100 yen ($0.91 U.S.) will be charged per transaction.

During the test period of the monthly credit scheme, the commission will, however, be fixed at 100 yen – regardless of how many purchases are concluded on credit in a month, Mercari said.

For the time being, the credit offer is only available for a select group of customers, due to the risk involved, but Mercari plans to slowly expand the service to more clients.

In Japan, where businesses are using advanced technologies to ramp up app installs, Mercari loves to expand its services to attract and retain users. Recently, it started a delivery channel (here) and unveiled a niche app in the leisure category (here).

Mercari launched in 2013, and since then, has been the outperformer among all its new and old competitors – including Rakuma and Clip.

Alone in Japan, the Mercari app has been downloaded more than 50 million times, while in the U.S. this tally is 25 million. Mercari’s monthly gross merchandise value (GMV) has reached 100 billion yen ($910 million U.S.).

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Tariq Ahmed Saeedi

Tariq Ahmed Saeedi writes stories on sharing economies in Asia – particularly Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iran. He joined the AIM Group in January 2016. Tariq is also a spotter, monitoring global marketplace industry’s updates. He carries more than 15 years of writing experience. Tariq frequently contributes economic/tech news and analysis to a daily The News International and a magazine. He has also written features and interview articles for various other publications and some of his write-ups have been cited for references in reports by the World Bank and archived in Florida Institute of Technology’s library. Tariq has also narrated corporate website content for Audi importer in Pakistan and others. He started his career from a television’s current affairs department in 2003 and later joined the country’s premier news agency Pakistan Press International.