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East Japan Railway, NTT DoCoMo and Sony to launch mobile payment service
Posted on 23-Feb-2005 00:14. | Tags Filed under: News.

East Japan Railway Company (JR East), NTT DoCoMo, Inc. and Sony Corporation will offer a new service combining DoCoMo's i-mode FeliCa smart-card handset and Suica, JR East's IC card train ticket, from January 2006. The Mobile Suica service will enable i-mode FeliCa handsets to be used as Suica cards.

A test of the service will begin March 2005 using pilot i-mode FeliCa handsets.

More than 10 million Suica cards have been issued already. The cards can be used not only to ride trains, but also to make purchases at selected restaurants, convenience stores and other shops inside and outside JR stations.

DoCoMo's i-mode FeliCa service combines DoCoMo's i-mode mobile internet service for data communications on the go and Sony's FeliCa smart-card platform for secure data transmission. The handset is a powerful, multifunctional tool combining mobile communications with diverse functions ranging from financial transactions to opening electronic locks. More than 2 million i-mode FeliCa handsets have been sold in Japan until February 2005.

At its launch in January 2006, Mobile Suica customers are expected to be able to use their handsets to recharge stored fare and purchase commuter passes and check the balance of stored fare usage on the screen of the handsets.

Other services being planned are online shopping features with Suica electronic money by the second half of fiscal 2006.

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