Electronics giant Hitachi is setting up a joint venture with MasterCard and Australian e-payments outfit KeyCorp to manufacture and distribute multi-application smart cards worldwide.
According to a Reuters report, Hitachi is investing Y300 million and will take an 18% stake in the venture, which will be established in San Francisco. MasterCard is set to hold a 20% stake and KeyCorp will retain 18% of the business.
The remaining 44% stake in the firm will be held by US venture capitalists, Oak Hill Venture Partners.
The venture will develop and promote advanced smart cards based on the Multos multi-application operating system.
According to a report by Japanese business daily Nihon Keizai, which broke the story, Hitachi will also develop a Multos card business jointly with card manufacturers Dai Nippon Printing and Toppan Printing in Japan.
Hitachi expects Multos-related sales, including licensing fees, to reach Y90 billion globally in three years.