NTT DoCoMo, Visa International, Nippon Shinpan, OMC Card and AEON Credit to Test Payments via Mobile Phone IrDA Ports

Products & Services
TOKYO, JAPAN, April 7, 2003 --- Visa International, Nippon Shinpan, OMC Card and AEON Credit today announced the start of a pilot program, together with NTT DoCoMo, Inc., to test a service for making credit card payments at bricks and mortar merchants via DoCoMo 504i and 504iS series mobile phones, which are equipped with infrared transmission (IrDA) ports.

Visa, Nippon Shinpan and DoCoMo will begin piloting this service in Tokyo from June of this year. A commercialized service involving participation of other card companies is targeted for spring 2004.

The trial leverages a DoCoMo "i-appli™" application for payments based on the "Visa Proximity Payments Messaging Specification" made using credit card data that is downloaded and stored in DoCoMo 504i and 504iS mobile phones. Because the trial uses existing features, there is no need for additional functionality in the phones. As such, the companies expect this convenient new service to win favor among the more than 8 million owners of DoCoMo 504i and 504iS mobile phones. Every DoCoMo 504i and 504iS phone is standard-equipped with an IrDA port to exchange information with other IrDA-equipped devices via an infrared signal.

The pilot will have two phases. In the first phase, Nippon Shinpan and DoCoMo will focus on technical evaluations of the service, including communication formats, payment methods and user operability. Nippon Shinpan will select 3,000 monitors from among Visa cardholders and provide infrared-payment terminals to about 500 merchants.

Visa International will provide full technical and marketing support and will help create a localized infrared-payment mechanism for the Japanese market based on its global specification for proximity payments. Visa will ensure global interoperability with other infrared-payment formats based on the same guidelines to promote rapid commercialization. DoCoMo will provide technical support regarding its i-appli payment application and the infrared transmission capability of its mobile phones.

In the second phase, which begins this autumn, OMC Card and AEON Credit Service will join the pilot test to recruit more users and expand the range of participating merchants, bringing the pilot test closer in form to full commercialization.

The new service will make credit payments simpler and more convenient than ever before by taking advantage of the credit card payment functionality of DoCoMo 504i and 504iS mobile phones. The service will increase the appeal of credit card-based payments among young adults, and also promote wider use of credit cards for small transactions traditionally handled with cash.

DoCoMo's i-appli functionality takes mobile payments beyond the realm of conventional e-payment applications, by leveraging text and visual content to provide personalized marketing that will expand credit card usage to new customer and merchant segments.

About Visa International
Visa is the world's leading payment brand with more than 1.1 billion cards in circulation worldwide. Visa-branded cards, with unsurpassed acceptance at merchant locations and ATMs in more than 150 countries, are used to purchase over US$2.5 trillion worth of goods and services. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of universal commerce - the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime, and any way.

About Visa Asia Pacific
In Asia Pacific, Visa has a greater market share than all other payment card brands combined with 59 percent of all card purchases at the point of sale being made using Visa cards. There are currently close to 250 million Visa cards, including 184 million Visa-branded cards, issued in the Asia Pacific region. Visa Asia Pacific's Internet address is

About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world's leading mobile communications company with more than 45 million customers. The company provides a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services. These include , the world's most popular mobile internet service, which provides e-mail and internet access to over 37 million subscribers, and FOMA, launched in 2001 as the world's first 3G mobile service based on W-CDMA. In addition to wholly owned subsidiaries in Europe and North and South America, the company is expanding its global reach through strategic alliances with mobile and multimedia service providers in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and North and South America. NTT DoCoMo is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. For more information, visit

i-mode, FOMA and i-appli are trademarks or registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.

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