Sony, DoCoMo, Others to Launch E-Money System

Through a joint venture company, the partners will soon begin working on spreading use of the system, named Edy, to retailers and consumers with the goal of getting 30 million cards and 15 million personal terminals into the hands of Japan's 127 million people by late 2006. At that time, the companies hope the card will be accepted at 25,000 retail outlets, 30,000 online shops and 1 million vending machines, they said in the statement.

The eleven partners in the joint venture, which is yet to be named and is scheduled to be established in January 2001, represent almost all of the pieces needed to make a success of the system. Together, they include major banks, technology companies capable of making the cards and terminals, telecommunications companies to promote online and cellphone use and an auto maker that will promote use of the card for auto-related applications.

Joining Sony and NTT DoCoMo in the venture are three major consumer and business banks, Sakura Bank Ltd., Sanwa Bank Ltd. and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd., telecommunications carrier DDI Corp., auto maker Toyota Motor Corp., electronics maker Denso Corp. and Sony Finance International Inc., Sakura Information Systems Co. Ltd. and Japan Research Institute Ltd.

In the nine months running up to the anticipated October 2001 launch, the new company will work to establish a supporting infrastructure for the Edy system, license the card to the eleven partners and other companies and get retailers on board. As part of preparations for launch, Sakura Bank will issue cards to customers which will be able to use them to shop and deposit money at convenience stores.

The Edy e-money system uses contactless smart cards developed by Sony and has been trialed since July 1999 in the Gate City Osaki building near Sony's headquarters building in Tokyo. Initially 500 employees of companies in the building could use the cards at 5 shops within the complex but this was expanded to 4,000 people and almost all the shops in the building earlier this year.

The Sony Group will be the largest shareholder in the new company with a 47 percent stake, of which 42 percent will be held by Sony Finance and 5 percent by Sony Corp. Joint second largest shareholders will be NTT DoCoMo and the Sakura Bank Group with 15 percent each, the latter stake split between Sakura Bank, Sakura Information Systems and Japan Research Institute. Additionally, Toyota Motor, Denso and DDI will each hold 5 percent and Sanwa Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi will each own 4 percent of the company.

Sony, in Tokyo, can be contacted at +81-3-5448-2111 or online at http://www.sony.co.jp/. NTT DoCoMo, in Tokyo, can be contacted at +81-3-5563-7015 or found online at http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?