CW360 reports that the Edy electronic money system created by BitWallet, a 25-member consortium headed by Sony and NTT DoCoMo, is to be adopted by seven of Japan’s major banks and credit card companies for use with their credit cards.
The Edy system, which is based on Sony’s Felica contactless integrated circuit card, does not require the card to be inserted into a special reader. The system can be activated for money debits when the card is placed within 10 centimetres of an Edy sensor. As money is stored on the card beforehand, the payment process takes 0.2 seconds to complete. The in-store terminal communicates with the Edy data centre once or twice a day to reconcile transactions and to check for fraud.
More information on Edy from a July report from ITworld.com.
Today, around 200,000 Edy cards have been issued. At least one quarter of these double as corporate ID cards for Sony, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi and Sanden workers while around half have been bundled with Sony’s Vaio W desktop personal computer. Transaction volumes are small. Each of the 100 stores currently online handles an average of around 1,000 Edy transactions per month but Yamada is confident the system will see around a 100-fold increase in transaction volume once AM/PM begins accepting the cards.