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  • VISA Conducts Major Electronic Money Test in Tokyo
  • July 22, 1998 (TOKYO) -- The world's largest experiment of electronic money started in the Shibuya area of Tokyo on July 16.
    It is being conducted by the Shibuya Smart Card Society, a consortium that includes VISA International Service Association and 45 banks, credit card companies and manufacturers.

    About 133,000 VISA Cash smart cards in which electronic money is recorded will be issued. They can be used at 850 settlement terminals installed in 700 shops.

    The experiment will last until October 1999. The number of terminals will be increased to 2,000. The society intends to make the use of electronic money practical after the experimental period.

    VISA Cash will be issued by credit card companies or financial institutions. Consumers can pay by VISA Cash instead of cash in shops with terminals. They do not have to carry small change, and shops can avoid the trouble of handling cash. This system also shortens the time needed for settlement.

    There are two types of VISA Cash: consumable and reloadable. The former cannot be reused when the face value is spent. The latter can be replenished from a deposit account.

    There are four types of cards that are being issued in the experiment: consumable VISA Cash card, reloadable VISA Cash card, a card with an IC credit card and VISA Cash card (reloadable) that has the functions of both a cash card and VISA Cash card (reloadable).

    (Hi-Tech News Center)

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    Updated: Tue Jul 21 16:48:59 1998