The Rising Sun’s Powerhouse: Japan Credit Bureau (JCB)

Backspace Tech
4 min readApr 5, 2024

Gokigen ikaga desu ka? (ごきげんいかがですか ?)



Ever wondered what the payment network is like in the land of anime battles, lightning-fast trains, and steaming bowls of ramen?

Ah, by now, you would have likely connected the dots!

Indeed, it’s none other than the Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) from the land of the rising sun!

Let’s dive in and explore!

Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) is an international payment brand based in Tokyo, Japan, which issues cards and processes payments. Operating primarily in Japan and Asia, JCB offers a range of financial solutions including card issuance, transaction processing, and account management.

Sugoi! (すごい)

Let us trace the JCB’s roots!

1960s to 1990s


  • 1961

i) Establishment of Japan Credit Bureau (JCB) and Osaka Credit Bureau (OCB).

ii) Issued Japan’s first credit card.

iii) Introduced automatic bank draft payment for credit card bills.

  • 1968: JCB merged with OCB


  • 1978: JCB became JCB Co., Ltd. and launched Japan’s first credit card point program.


  • 1980: JCB Travel Co., Ltd was established and JCB gift certificate services were launched
  • 1981: Began international operations
  • 1982: Issued cards with magnetic stripe


Primarily expanded the international presence in various countries.

  • 1999: Launched J/Smart™ EMV compliant payment application

2000s to Present


  • 2000: Partnered with Amex
  • 2001: Commenced the issuance of J/Smart™ card
  • 2004: Acquired ownership in EMVCo and rolled out J/Secure™ payer authentication program
  • 2005: Launched QUICPay™ contactless payment and achieved BS7799 certification
  • 2006

i) Launched Diners Club Card acquiring operation in Japan with Citi Cards Japan, Inc

ii) Allied with Discover Financial Services

iii) Founded PCI Security Standards Council with other payment brands.

iv) Enabled China’s UnionPay card acceptance on JCB’s ATM network in Japan.

· 2007: First commercial rollout of J/Speedy, the JCB contactless payment program

· 2009: Commenced JCB Original Series Card issuance


  • 2010: Launched merchant acquiring operation in Japan with China UnionPay
  • 2015: Unveiled a new brand message: “Uniquely Yours”.
  • 2017: Established JCB CARD INTERNATIONAL (SOUTH ASIA) Pvt. Ltd. in India
  • 2019

i) RuPay and JCB partnered

ii) JCB card members surpass 30 million outside Japan and 100 million within Japan


  • 2023

i) Achieved 1 million RuPay JCB issuances in India.

ii) Launched Sri Lanka’s first JCB-branded credit card in partnership with LankaPay


Explored the JCB’s history!

Let’s discover its essence!

The Essence

JCB’s operations encompass Card Issuance and Payment Processing.

When it processes payments, it checks the transaction details, looks at how much credit the cardholder has, and approves the payment.

A) Cards

As a card issuer, JCB issues

  • Credit Card
  • Debit Card
  • Prepaid Card and
  • Other Card (which includes loan faith, gift card, premo card, and QUO cards)

[Note: Except for other cards, which are limited to use within Japan, all three card types can be worldwide wherever JCB has a partnership.]

The Big Picture

B) Payment Solution

JCB has been promoting QUICPay in Japan and JCB Contactless worldwide, to enhance convenience.


  • QUICPay is JCB’s tailored contactless payment solution, designed specifically for the Japanese market. It enables swift and effortless transactions, simply by tapping a JCB card or a linked mobile device on a compatible reader at participating merchants.

JCB Contactless

  • It is a secure, user-friendly, and rapid payment solution. Cardholders can swiftly complete transactions at numerous shops and services by effortlessly tapping their JCB Contactless card on the reader.

C) Security


  • Specialized authentication service designed to enhance the security of online transactions with JCB cards. Leveraging the 3-D Secure protocol, it adds a layer of authentication tailored for Card-Not-Present (CNP) transactions, thus strengthening security measures for online payments.


  • Technology suite crafted to elevate both the security and functionality of JCB cards.

Tasted its true essence!

But, hold on!

We are yet to discover the crux!

International Alliance

JCB’s acceptance spans across more than 190 countries and territories, which is made possible through its collaborative partnerships with other prominent international payment brands.

  • It has partnered with American Express for card acceptance in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada
  • It has partnered with Discover for card acceptance in the U.S
  • It has partnered with UnionPay to facilitate the utilization of cards from both entities at designated merchants in Japan and China.

A Statistical Look

JCB’s network stretches like a vast web, connecting over 156 million cardholders to a staggering 46 million merchants worldwide. In 2022 alone, transactions processed by JCB surged to a phenomenal ¥43.3 trillion, solidifying its position as a payment mover and shaker.

JCB stands as a significant player in the global financial landscape, offering a range of credit card services and solutions. With its roots deeply embedded in Japan’s economic fabric, JCB has expanded its presence internationally, catering to diverse consumer needs.

Hold your hats!

We’ve been exploring the various aspects of the global financial landscape right from Europe to the Middle East. But, we still have miles to go!

So, get ready to deep dive into the global payment landscape, systems, and regulations!

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P.S: What topic do you think we should explore next? Let us know in the comments.



Backspace Tech

Backspace Tech offers Fintech-as-a-Service to automate,simplify, and disrupt the payment industry by handling chargeback requests through a plug-and-play model.