DoCoMo has just announced that they will form a strategic alliance, through a capital tie-up, with the FamilyMart convenience retail chain. DoCoMo will acquire 2,930,500 common shares owned by FamilyMart — approx. 3% of total issued shares — for about 9 billion yen (usd $74 Million) on June 13, 2007. From July 10, FamilyMart stores will begin accepting m-commerce payments via the DoCoMo iD platform which is currently accepted in only about 140 of nearly 7,000 locations nationwide.
Initially, FamilyMart will upgrade reader/writers at FamilyMart payment counters for compatibility with DoCoMo’s ToruCa information-capture service, thereby enabling customers to download coupons and useful information into their DoCoMo phones. In addition, Osaifu-Keitai compatible reader/writers will be installed in “Famiport” multimedia terminals in all FamilyMart stores. These services will become available by the end of May 2008.
According to their statement the strategic alliance will be enhanced in other ways, including: Introduction of iD mobile payments for purchases made on FamilyMart’s shopping website, introduction of the “Famima iD” mobile credit card for “Famima Card” credit-card users, a provision of benefits for using DoCoMo’s DCMX and FamilyMart’s “Famima iD” mobile credit cards via the iD platform at FamilyMart stores and trial use of Famima Cards by owners of DoCoMo phones with Osaifu-Keitai capability.