Japanese mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo is paying Y9bn ($76.9m) for a two per cent stake in national convenience store chain Lawson as part of its plans to expand the use of its "wallet phones".
NTT DoCoMo says it will buy about 2.09 million shares in Lawson in April and that the capital tie-up will facilitate faster development and implementation of its new mobile payment services.
The move will allow users of its mobile credit card payment service, Osaifu-Keitai, to use their hand sets to pay for purchases at 100 Lawson locations by the end of April.
The m-payments service will be expanded to all Lawson's 300 stores across Japan by April 2007.
Earlier this month NTT DoCoMo, which has more than 50 million mobile phone subscribers, acquired an 18% stake in card issuer UC Card from Mizuho Bank, in a bid to expand the range of mobile payments services available to its customers.