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“Edy | au” Payment Service: Rakuten And KDDI Ink Announce Strategic Linkup


Japan’s e-commerce juggernaut Rakuten and the country’s 2nd largest telco KDDI au have announced a strategic linkup focused on electronic money today. Under the agreement, Rakuten’s Edy electronic money system will be combined with KDDI au’s mobile checkout infrastructure “to integrate more online and offline services”.

The goal of the new service, dubbed Edy | au, is clear: to make it easier to spend money for au, Edy, and Rakuten customers. Edy | au is scheduled to start this August in Japan, but Rakuten and KDDI are already planning to bring it to other parts of Asia, too.

Here’s the important part of the press release (not online yet/bitWallet is a Rakuten group company):

The birth of a new service “Edy | au”
With the signing of the letter of understanding, the two companies have created a new service
known  as  “Edy  |  au.”  As  part  of  this  new  service,  from  August  4,  2011,  bitWallet,  Inc.
(Headquarters: Shinagawa City; President and CEO: Yoshihisa Yamada; hereafter “bitWallet”)
will enable au Kantan Kessai service users the ability to choose Edy as a payment option.

With this service, customers will also be able to charge their Edy cards via“au Simple Payment
Service.”  In  addition,  those who  have mobile  phone  contracts with  au will  be  able  to  pay
charged amounts for Edy cards together with their au phone bills. From September 27, 2011, an
“Edy Autocharge”  option  allowing  smartphone  customers  to  automatically  charge  their Edy
accounts when connected to the Internet will also be added   to “au Simple Payment Service”.

Both companies expect that the usage of electronic money will increase as smartphones take
hold and become more common  throughout  society.  In addition  to  the provision of  safe and
convenient electronic money services, the two companies are currently discussing collaborative
marketing,  business,  NFC  projects,  and  other  promotions  and  campaigns  that  might  be
attempted in the future.

Introduction of au Kantan Kessai to Rakuten Ichiba

This  coming  fall  there  are  also  currently  plans  to  eventually  introduce  “au Simple Payment
Service”. to Rakuten Ichiba . It is expected that as the number of devices and networks available
increases,  the  number  of  opportunities  customers  have  to make  use  of  a  variety  of  Internet
services will  increase  as well. While  each  customer  is  likely  to have varied needs  regarding
payments, it is believed that the importance of credit cards and electronic money will greatly
increase. Rakuten is always looking for ways to make Rakuten Ichiba more convenient for its
customers, and it hopes that the addition of “au Simple Payment Service”. as a payment option
will do just that. The company will work to increase the number of users of both services.

In addition to providing new services  to meet  the needs of their customers  in Japan, moving
forward, KDDI and Rakuten plan to strike business collaboration agreements overseas, starting
with Asia. The companies hope to expand their business operations through the creation of a
new business collaboration model.

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.