Friday, May 27, 2005

M-Payment in Japan

My attention has been tuned into the world of mobile payments over the last week and Google alerts delivered this story from Business Week. The interesting comment for me is "This is a completely new sector for DoCoMo and is part of our aim to move into areas where we are not so dependent on communication usage," Masao Nakamura, DoCoMo's chief executive, told reporters on announcing the Sumitomo deal. "Our entry into the credit-card business will be a turning point for us."

Now DoCoMo is in a very different possition to any other Mobile Network in that they are in the business of shifting tin more than selling airtime and they do so very well. But this is a company that can afford to pay $935m to buy a stake in the second biggest retail bank in Japan. I can remember reading reports that said Banks would buy phone companies as a technology channel to customers.

The sidebar shows that In Japan customers already using 2D barcodes to order goods from a catalogue as well as tickets for the movies and small godes from vending machines. Next year they will replace credit cards and train tickets. Just wonder how long it is going to take for the technology to travel West to Europe?

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