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New ‘V Point’ program launched after the merger

The new “V Point” reward points program was launched in Japan on Monday through the merger of Culture Convenience Club’s T-Point program and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group’s existing V Point program.

The combined number of subscribers to the two former programs was 154 million, the largest in Japan.

Competition between such point programs is expected to increase as other operators also strengthen their services.

Under the new V Point program, users can earn points for purchases at more than 150,000 T-Point partner stores and 7.5 million Visa partner stores in Japan, as well as for purchases made with Sumitomo Mitsui cards at approximately 100 million stores worldwide .

Existing points cards and special apps remain valid, and points from the two former programs can be integrated via ID linking.

The T-Point program was launched in 2003 as a groundbreaking rewards points program in Japan. Although widely recognized in the country, payment options were limited and challenged by major telecommunications companies’ programs with smartphone payment features.

After the service integration, users can earn points through credit card payments and use points at more stores.

“A points program that allows users to use points in everyday life will certainly be chosen by customers,” said a senior official of the operator.

Among other points programs, mobile carrier NTT Docomo has allowed its “d Point” rewards points to be earned and used for shopping on Amazon starting this month.

E-commerce giant Rakuten Group this month announced a plan to integrate its payment and points card apps to improve user convenience.

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