Four e-Payment Brands to Use Same Reader/Writer
— Suica, iD™, QUICPay™ and Edy —
East Japan Railway Company
NTT DoCoMo, Inc.
JCB Co., Ltd.
September 27, 2006
East Japan Railway Company (JR East), NTT DoCoMo, Inc., JCB Co., Ltd. and bitWallet Inc. announced today that they have agreed to share a common platform to enable their e-payment brands— Suica®, iD™, QUICPay™ and Edy—to share the same point-of-sale reader/writer device and data center. The system is expected to begin commercial operation with the Suica and iD brands in January 2007, with QUICPay and Edy to be added subsequently.
The shared platform will significantly improve convenience for customers, encourage more merchants to install the reader/writers, and promote the wider use of mobile phones and other devices with FeliCa® smart-card technology for small-sum transactions.
The platform is being jointly developed by JR East and DoCoMo based on an agreement between the two companies in July 2005 to create and manage common infrastructure for JR East's Suica e-money and DoCoMo's Osaifu-Keitai credit card service, both of which are based on FeliCa smart-card technology.
About East Japan Railway Company
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) is the largest passenger railway company in the world, serving about 16 million passengers daily. The company's 7,526.8 km rail network covers the eastern half of Honshu (Japan's main island), including the Tokyo metropolitan area. The company has 1,699 stations in its service area, and operates more than 12,000 trains on conventional lines and 309 trains on the Shinkansen daily. In addition to its railway business, JR East operates other kinds of business such as retail shops, restaurants in stations, hotels, shopping centers, and office building management.
The company introduced its "Suica" IC card in the Tokyo metropolitan area stations in November 2001 and the number of holders now exceeds 17 million. The area where Suica can be used is steadily being expanded.
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world's leading mobile communications company. DoCoMo serves more than 51 million customers, of which more than half subscribe to FOMA™, launched as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA in 2001. DoCoMo also offers a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services, including i-mode™, the world's most popular mobile e-mail/Internet service, used by more than 46 million people. With the addition of credit-card and other e-wallet functions, DoCoMo mobile phones have become highly versatile tools for daily life. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges.
For more information, visit www.nttdocomo.com.
About JCB Co., Ltd.
JCB is one of the global payment brands and the largest card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding overseas in 1981. Its merchant network includes 13 million merchants and spans 190 countries and territories. JCB cards are now issued in 20 countries and territories, with 57.70 million card members. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with more than 350 leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and card member base. As a comprehensive payment solutions company, JCB is committed to providing high-quality payment services to customers, merchants, and partners. For further information, please visit the JCB home page at www.jcb-global.com/english/ or www.jcbcorporate.com/english/.
About bitWallet Inc.
bitWallet, based in Tokyo, is an electronic money service provider who started Edy from November 2001. Edy is a contactless electronic money service based on FeliCa technology developed by Sony Corporation. As of August 2006, bitWallet has offered the services to more than 40,000 retail shops and websites in Japan including convenience stores, airports, restaurants, supermarkets, amusement parks and game centers, etc.
Suica is a registered trademark of East Japan Railway.
iD is a registered trademark of NTT DoCoMo, Inc.
Edy is a registered trademark of BitWallet Inc.
FeliCa is a contactless IC chip technology developed by Sony Corporation.
FeliCa is a registered trademark of Sony Corporation.
i-mode and FOMA are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.
NTT DoCoMo's FOMA service is only available to subscribers in Japan.