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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Web Money is Preferred Settlement Means for Live Internet
  • September 3, 1998 (TOKYO) -- ASCII Something Good Corp.'s "Web Money" is the most popular of three settlement methods for paid content on the Internet, according to Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. (SME).
    The next two methods in terms of popularity are the "QQQ System" of Fuji Soft ABC Inc. and "CyberCoin" of CyberCash Inc. of the United States.

    This is the result of users' choices among the three settlement methods prepared for payments for paid live Internet organized by Sony Music Entertainment and musician Motoharu Sano on Aug. 30. About 60 percent of some 600 applicants selected Web Money for their settlements, according to Nobuyuki Suzuki of SME's digital content department.

    Web Money is a settlement system using a value-stored card. Cards for Web Money are available at many stores including personal computer shops and convenience stores. Customers settle their payments by using numbers provided on the back of the cards they buy.

    Web Money owes its popularity to a Web Money card originally designed by Sano. Also, Suzuki of SME said that customers find it convenient to use the cards directly after their purchase.

    On the other hand, the QQQ System attracted less than 30 percent of the customers with its electronic settlement service for members based on registration of credit card numbers.

    CyberCoin has a system in which users are asked to initially download proprietary software designed for this service, register their credit card numbers and buy an electronic coin through the software, and then make payments.

    CyberCoin attracted few customers for Sano's live show. SME said the lack of popularity of CyberCoin was due in part to its low profile.

    (Nikkei Multimedia)

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    Updated: Wed Sep 2 18:43:08 1998 PDT