Japanese payment card issuer JCB is conducting trials of its contactless payment technology at the country's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Staff at the government agency are using JCB's dual interface cards to pay for meals at canteens across the facililty. The cards combines both contact and contactless payments interfaces, so it can also be used as a regular credit card.
The contactless technology was developed by JCB in partnership with Japanese firms, Matsushita Electric Industrial and Dai Nippon Printing. JCB says the system enables users to make payments by holding the card near a card reader, allowing them to keep the card with them at all times.
Go Masaki, assistant VP, advanced technologies, JCB, comments: "It is our ongoing challenge at JCB to develop new payment systems that reflect not only the most effective solutions for new customer requirements, but employ the latest innovations and technologies available in the market."
The pilot will run for six months through to September 2004.
JCB announced in January it has begun trials of its Mobile Offica service - a combined contactless payment and office access control service for corporatations available via mobile phones.
Last November the company also released J/Secure a 3-D Secure authentication programme for purchases made on the Web. In an update, JCB says it has signed more than 15 acquiring and issuing partners for the programme and expects several, including Korea's LG Card and AEON Credit Service in Japan, to launch safe shopping service respectively in April and May 2004.
Separately, JCB has secured a merchant acquiring deal with Turkish Bank Turkiye IS Bankasi (Isbank). JCB says the new agreement will increase the number of merchants accepting its payments cards in Turkey to more than 100,000.
Kunio Yoshizawa, president and COO, JCB, adds: "Having Isbank's POS terminals accept JCB will be sure to benefit both of us significantly in terms of sales."