JCB, a leading international credit card brand, has announced that it will formally launch ‘Mobile Offica’, its wireless corporate solution, in the fall of this year. The commercialization of Mobile Offica, which incorporates a broad range of Offica* administrative functions into a wireless handset, follows a successful eight-month site trial, run in association with NTT DoCoMo’s “i-mode* FeliCa* Preview Service”, which concludes in July.
“At this stage, we are focusing on the pursuit of convenience and user-friendliness in terms of usability of Mobile Offica. However, in the future, with the experience and expertise acquired during the preview and the rollout, we can look into providing further unique and unconventional solutions, utilizing the advantages of mobile phone features”, said Mr. Go Masaki, Assistant Vice President of Advanced Technologies at JCB.
JCB’s Offica solution is designed to meet the increasing administrative and security needs of corporations with advanced employee convenience and usability. Built around Sony’s FeliCa* contactless IC chip technology, Offica includes a suite of functions including employee identification, office and network access, and cashless payment. Mobile Offica is the latest in a line of customer applications, and will mark the first time that mobile phones incorporating a contactless chip enabling credit card payment will be available in Japan.
“The advantage in utilizing the mobile phone lies in the fact that it can show information on a handset display, and can send and receive data quickly. Combining these features with payment functionality, we can create new, higher value services. Payment with the mobile phone is a practical and convenient alternative, and is fun and entertaining, as well”, Masaki added.
Advanced postpay functionality is provided by linking to the employee’s own credit card account, eliminating the need to carry cash, and allowing the employee to earn loyalty points or mileage for spending in company restaurants or stores. Mobile Offica also enables users with i-mode capable phones to monitor outstanding credit card balances and view detailed transaction histories, and users may be able to request increases in their credit limits on-line.
JCB is committed to taking advantage of the latest chip and information technology to provide corporations a ‘best fit’ solution in functionality and media, whether in the form of plastic card, key chain token, PDA, wristwatch or mobile phone, while employees enjoy greater convenience and personalization. JCB Corporate Solutions offer a technical edge that complements its expertise in domestic and international payment systems.
NTT DoCoMo, the world’s leading mobile communications company, will itself be releasing i-mode FeliCa Service for mobile wallet applications, including train pass and e-money, on four i-mode smart-card handset models, in early July.
*Offica is a trademark of JCB Co., Ltd. *i-mode is a registered trademarks of NTT DoCoMo, Inc. in Japan and other countries.
*FeliCa is a contactless IC chip technology developed by Sony Corporation and a registered trademark of Sony Corporation.
About NTT DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo is the world’s leading mobile communications company with more than 47 million customers. The company provides a wide variety of leading-edge mobile multimedia services. These include i-mode(R), the world’s most popular mobile internet service, which provides e-mail and Internet access to over 40 million subscribers, and FOMA(R), 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 (TSE: 9437), London (NDCM), and New York (DCM) stock exchanges.
About JCB Co. Ltd.
JCB is an international credit card brand and the largest card issuer/acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding overseas in 1981. Its merchant network includes 11.4 million merchants and spans 189 countries and territories. JCB cards are now issued in 18 countries and territories, with 49.6 million cardmembers. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with more than 320 leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and cardmember base. JCB’s corporate philosophy of “Service from the heart,” a commitment to responsive, high-quality service, continues to guide it as it creates the future together with its customers, merchants and partners.