NTT DoCoMo acquires 18% stake in UC card; inks 'wallet phone' deal

NTT DoCoMo acquires 18% stake in UC card; inks 'wallet phone' deal

Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo is acquiring an 18% stake in card issuer UC Card from Mizuho Bank for Y1bn, in a deal that will expand the range of mobile payments services available to its customers.

The operator will also team with Mizuho to establish a service that will enable its customers to make credit card payments using their mobile handsets.

The deal will enable holders of credit cards issued by Credit Saison - an affiliate of Mizuho that bought UC Card's issuing business from the bank last year - to use the DoCoMo 'wallet phones' to pay for purchases at stores equipped with a special scanner.

Under the agreement, UC Card will develop eftpos terminals that will enable customers to make payments with the NTT DoCoMo 'wallet phones', while Mizuho will develop ATMs compatible with the handsets.

Going forward the companies say they will work together to introduce new wireless functions, such as settlement services for mobile phones and wireless banking services for Mizuho Bank's high-end customers.

The deal expands the number of credit card options available on NTT DoCoMo's phones. The mobile operator entered the card business last year under a similar deal with Mizuho rival Sumitomo Mitsui.

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