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March 6, 2012
  • bitWallet,Inc
  • KDDI Corporation
  • Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd.

bitWallet, KDDI, and Dai Nippon Printing start testing of jointly developed next-generation e-money system using NFC

bitWallet Inc. (“bitWallet,” CEO: Yoshihisa Yamada, Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo), KDDI Corporation (“KDDI,” President: Takahashi Tanaka, Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo), and Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. ( “DNP,“ CEO: Yoshitoshi Kitajima; Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo) have jointly developed a prototype server-managed electronic money system using near-field communication (NFC) Type A protocol.

This prototype system was developed as part of research on NFC next-generation e-money systems. The three companies have been working together on testing the technology related to contactless IC payment services both for NFC-equipped smartphones and Type A cards.

The results are as follows.

Results of testing:
(1) Provision of e-money services by NFC-equipped smartphones
It was confirmed that this protocol system could in fact be mounted on NFC-equipped smartphones, which are expected to become widely popular in all world markets. We believe this will trigger popularization of e-money services overseas, where adoption rates have lagged compared to Japan.

(2) Adoption of server-managed system improves convenience
As a high-speed communications infrastructure has taken shape, it has enabled real-time communication via the Internet. Shifting e-money systems to a server-managed model will allow participating stores to reduce the cost of terminals and running costs.

It also increases convenience for customers by providing points on purchases in real time and enabling rapid service, for example by supplying coupons tailored to the customer’s demographic.

As a result of confirming the viability of this prototype system, the three companies are hoping to expand the use of e-money services into the area of O2O (online to offline) services, which combine online commerce and shopping at physical stores.

Research on NFC-equipped smartphones used here is part of an e-money focused initiative announced as a joint effort by KDDI and Rakuten in June 2011. We are considering expansion of the new joint business based on the “Edy/au” concept. In addition, DNP is aggressively pursuing development of services for NFC-equipped smartphones, which will revitalize the market.

The three companies will be displaying the protocol system at DNP’s booth during the NFC & Smart World 2012 exhibition at Tokyo Big Site, starting on March 6.

The roles of the participating firms in this research can be found on the following page.

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