Cellphones Becoming Wallets In Japan

    April 27, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

NTT DoCoMo expand phone’s coinless payment ability with new computer chip from Sony.

About 3 million Japanese users have a type of “wallet phone” now, which can be used at vending machines and restaurants.

The new wallet phone concept will allow users to prepay funds to an account linked to the phone’s chip. Special terminals at retail stores and ATMs will let the user make purchases or obtain cash.

The phone is swiped like a credit card and the transaction is completed.

To facilitate the implementation, NTT will purchase a 34 percent stake in Japan’s second largest credit-card company, Sumitomo Mitsui Card. The card brand to be associated with the chip has not been determined yet.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.