NTT DoCoMo, Inc. announced today that the company entered into a financing agreement with multimedia retail company GEO as part of a strategy to promote i-mode FeliCa service in the Japanese market. Under the agreement, NTT DoCoMo will provide financial assistance for the development of a network system to support i-mode FeliCa service at GEO outlets, and the installation of smart-card reader/writers at approximately 600 GEO shops beginning this November. In order to recoup its investment in the system, DoCoMo will collect a commission for each usage of the FeliCa service. GEO is a major player in the rental and sales of videos, DVDs, CDs and game software.
Through the collaboration, DoCoMo is aiming to encourage the widespread use of i-mode FeliCa service in Japan by offering attractive financing to companies that are interested in the service, but worried about the risks accompanying initial investment.
FeliCa compatible P506iC, SH506iC, and SO506iC smart-card handsets are currently being marketed in Japan, enabling the mobile phone to be used for a variety of unprecedented functions that were previously possible only with IC cards. These include train travel, debit card (electronic money) and credit card transactions, personal identification, and entry access. Users may view current balances and payment records from the handset, and FeliCa service may also be used in combination with i-mode service to download content from i-mode sites.
NTT DoCoMo will leverage the financing scheme to entice potential partners interested in incorporating the above function into their business models, including supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores, amusement and entertainment venues, and companies concerned with enhancing personal identification measures. Continue >>