Shipments of smart cards and cell phones containing Sony Corp.’s Felica RFID chip have hit 200 million, the company said Thursday. In the last five years the chip has become a de facto standard in Japan and cards containing it are used by millions of people everyday to make railway journeys and e-money purchases in convenience stores. In 2004 the chip started getting integrated in cell phones [WWJ Video] and today, through Felica, owners of those cell phones can make purchases in stores.
The next big jump will come later this month when Tokyo’s subway and private railway and bus operators launch a common travel card based on the Felica platform. The Pasmo system will be interoperable with East Japan Railway Co.’s (JR East’s) Suica card, allowing the 35 million people who live in the Tokyo Metropolitan area the ability to travel on more than 100 railway lines and hundreds of bus routes with a single card. Continue>>