JCB (originally Japan Credit Bureau) is one of the largest credit card networks and payment methods in Japan. It has 140 million card holders and is used by 37 million merchants.
Founded in 1961, JCB was originally focused on the Japanese market. However, beginning in 1981, it has expanded to overseas markets and, through reciprocal partnerships with other credit networks, JCB is accepted around the world. In the US, JCB is accepted anywhere that accepts Discover. In Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, JCB has partnered with American Express.
When a customer uses their JCB card, the merchant’s credit processing system contacts the bank that issued the card, which then sends an authorization request to JCB's system. The request includes information about the card holder’s account balance, as well as what they’re buying, so that JCB can decide whether or not to authorize payment.
Once the authorization request has been sent back from JCB, it gets processed through the merchant’s payment gateway system before being transmitted back to the merchant's computer system and the purchase can be finalized. This process takes about 10 seconds.
JCB offers more convenience for consumers than a mere credit card. With its app (available from Google Play or the App Store) consumers can pay with their phone scanning QR codes or other contactless payment methods.