NTT Docomo, a personalized mobile solutions provider for smarter living, and Visa Worldwide (Japan) Co., Ltd., a global payments technology company, announced today that they will begin offering docomo Kouza Visa Prepaid, Japan's first mobile-based virtual prepaid card service, from September 18.
The new service, which combines the spending control of prepaid services with the convenience of credit cards, will expand online payment options for DOCOMO subscribers. The docomo Kouza Visa Prepaid users will receive a 16-digit card number linked to their account on docomo Kouza, the company's electronic money service, to shop at most online stores where Visa is accepted, and the purchases will be immediately debited from their account.
Unlike a traditional credit card application, a DOCOMO subscriber can simply sign up for this service on the docomo Kouza website for quick approval without the need for a screening.
There are two types of virtual prepaid cards available. The one-time card, which is valid for 10 days, is aimed mainly at casual shoppers and those who would like to try out the service, while the regular card, which is valid for three years, is designed for customers who want to use the service regularly.
According to the Nilson Reportnotice1, the volume and number of transactions via debit or prepaid cards have already exceeded those via credit cards in the global market. Japan's debit/prepaid market is forecasted to reach 650 billion yen by 2016notice2.