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TOKYO -- Three of Japan's largest convenience store chains are reportedly in talks to accept multiple brands of contactless credit and electronic purses on the same card readers. Without interoperable readers, consumers would be confused about where they could use a particular brand of contactless payment and merchants would have to install multiple readers.
Seven & I Holdings Co., which has more than 11,000 7-Eleven convenience stores in Japan, reached an agreement with Japan's largest credit-card company, JCB Co., to develop a contactless reader accepting JCB's QuicPay contactless payment service alongside the contactless e-purse Seven & I plans to launch next spring, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported.
Seven & I also has reportedly opened talks for a common reader with operators of four other contactless payment systems or plans to do so. These systems include East Japan Railway Co.'s Suica; iD, from mobile network operator NTT DoCoMo; Edy, from bitWallet Inc.; and Smartplus, a system developed by Japanese bank UFJ Nicos and adopted by Visa International for deployment in Japan.
Most of the services allow consumers to make purchases by tapping either a card or a mobile handset against a reader. FamilyMart Co., which has 6,700 stores in Japan, already accepts Suica and two other contactless systems at some of its stores and plans to expand to all of its stores by next spring, the newspaper reported. The chain may also allow two other services to share the readers hooked up to new point-of-sale terminals it plans to install starting in the fall.
Lawson Inc., which now accepts DoCoMo's iD brand of contactless mobile credit at 100 convenience stores, is considering accepting iD, as well as Suica and Edy, at all of its 8,300 stores throughout Japan, according to the newspaper.