Roughly 40% of Japanese consumers have started to use cashless payments more often, after the government rolled out a point-reward system for the promotion of cashless transactions.

The data was published in an industry ministry survey on Friday.

The survey about the success of the point-reward program, which was introduced in October in order to offset the negative impact of the sales tax hike which had been implemented that same month, also showed that more than 30% of participating consumers have grown more accustomed to shopping at retail stores which promote the program. 

The number of cashless transactions conducted in the sales of the covered outlets rose to roughly 34%, from a previous 27% prior to joining the point-reward program.

Less than 40% of participating outlets said that the program had helped them win over more customers or increase their sales, indicating that not all business had particularly reaped the benefits of the program. 

Around 990,000 outlets across the country submitted applications to join the program, of which roughly 950,000 completed the registration, indicating the growing popularity of the cashless trend. 

The survey, which accounted for around 27,000 consumers and about 7,000 businesses was conducted in two different stages between the end of August and beginning of December.