(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| NTT Data to Test Community E-Commerce System in July
February 5, 1999 (TOKYO) -- NTT Data Corp. said that from July 1 onwards
it will run a trial of a new local community-based electronic commerce
|The system, called the "Area Commerce Network," will use the Internet
to allow local shopkeepers to display their prices where local people
can view them from the comfort of their own homes. If somebody decides
to make a purchase, they will simply use a smart card to carry out the
Most trials of e-commerce systems held to date have been centered on
security matters related to verifying data when payments are made. By
contrast, the focus of the NTT Data trial will be to try to revitalize
the relationship between small local stores and the potential customers
who live in the community.
The trial, which the company is jointly promoting with Mitsui & Co.,
Ltd. and Mitsui Real Estate Sales Co., Ltd., will also serve to appraise
the performance of both the overall system and the individual technologies
developed by NTT Data, such as Internet access terminals and smart cards.
The trial will run until the end of November. The companies hope that
next year will see the full commercial launch of the system.
The two communities chosen to take part in the trial are located in Honmoku
and Kohoku, Yokohama. There are plans to recruit a total of 400 households
from the two areas to act as monitors. The monitors will all be provided
with the system's Internet terminals and smart cards, free of charge,
and will then use them to make purchases from local stores.
NTT Data's Internet terminals use the customer's own TV screen as a monitor.
They can also be used for ordinary Internet browsing and for sending
and receiving email.
Transactions for goods bought via the system are performed by inserting
the smart card into the terminal. Then, when the transaction has been
completed, money is automatically debited from the user's bank account.
Along with providing the Internet terminals, NTT Data will also launch
another service for creating customized Web pages for both individuals
and stores. It will allow individual users and owners of small shops
to have their own sites on the Internet, even if they have little or
no knowledge of HTML. The aim is to get more people, including those
without computer or Internet experience, to use the Area Commerce Network
NTT Data selects the Internet service provider, and pays the fees, for
users of the Area Commerce Network system. The monitors will only have
to pay the telephone charges incurred for the time they spend connected
to the system.
(BizTech News Dept.)
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