New York Times: Tiny transactions, without the coins

Ken Belson reports from Tokyo on the Suica and the bitWallet Edy proximity payment cards — both developed by Sony.

Pockets in Japan, however, are getting lighter with the growing use of integrated-circuit smart cards. The size of a credit card, they are packed with thin antennas and an encrypted integrated chip that can be used thousands of times to pay for train fares, meals at restaurants and snacks at convenience stores. In less than two years, nearly seven million people in Japan have started using one of two types of cards, both based on technology developed by Sony.

Discussion continues on Slashdot. Howard Rheingold also covers the story.

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