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(Nikkei BP Group)

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

  • Japan's Telecom Assn. to Start Electronic Payments Test
  • September 18, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Japan's Telecom Services Association (TSA) will test an international electronic payments system in partnership with a cybermall in Singapore.
    TSA is a group of telecommunications carriers authorized by Japan's Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT).

    The trial, which will enable consumers in Japan to shop at the Singapore mall, could begin as early as the third week of September, a TSA spokesperson told Nikkei Digital Money Systems.

    The payments system is based on electronic debiting, or funds transfer through bank accounts. The main feature of the system is that purchases do not involve international money transfer, so users pay only 320 yen (US$2.40) per transaction to the TSA as an agency fee.

    Online merchants can be assured of collecting all money owed. Also, unlike credit-card payment systems, the electronic debiting system can be used by young purchasers who are legal minors.

    Around 5,000 people are expected to take part in the trial, which will run until March 31, 1999. Participating financial institutions include seven banks and the MPT's Postal Savings Bureau. The banks are the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd., Asahi Bank Ltd., Sumitomo Bank Ltd., Daiwa Bank Ltd., Tokai Bank Ltd., Hiroshima Bank Ltd. and Iyo Bank Ltd.

    The TSA is looking at conducting similar trials with cybermalls in Korea and Taiwan, the TSA spokesperson said.

    (Nikkei Digital Money Systems)

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    Updated: Thu Sep 17 18:38:07 1998 PDT