East Japan Railway Company (JR East), NTT DoCoMo, Inc. (DoCoMo) and NTT DATA Corporation (NTT DATA) announced today that they have agreed to jointly promote JR East's Suica® e-money service.
The three companies are considering forming a limited liability partnership (LLP) around autumn this year to provide the initial costs for any company wishing to join the Suica e-money service. In return, the LLP would receive a commission based on the amount of e-money used. Initial costs include the purchase of compatible terminals and modification of IT systems.
Through this joint venture, JR East aims to expand the number of retail shops and companies accepting Suica e-money, which will make it more convenient and attract more users. For DoCoMo, the expansion of the Suica e-money service will encourage use of its "Osaifu-Keitai" mobile phones equipped with contactless IC cards. JR East is planning to launch Mobile Suica service in January 2006 in which DoCoMo's Osaifu-Keitai will contain Suica, JR East's IC card for railway travel and shopping.
NTT DATA, which provides settlement infrastructure such as INFOX®, aims to supply IT infrastructure to the companies joining the Suica e-money service.
The three companies are considering investing 400 million yen each to establish the LLP. A committee comprising of representatives from the three companies would make major decisions regarding the LLP, whose offices would be located at the JR East IT Business Division.