Feeds

Sony to launch e-money scheme

13 July 1999

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

It was five years ago today... In the heady days of the infancy of e-commerce, the fate of the well-worn leather wallet bearing fivers seemed sealed. Cash? Soon to be a thing of the past:

Sony to launch e-money scheme

By Tony Smith
Published Tuesday 13th July 1999 14:51 GMT

Sony is hoping to become a key e-commerce player when it launches a digital currency scheme next year. According to reports in Japanese business paper Nikkei, Sony's e-money programme will operate through its Internet service, So-Net.

Buyers would make payments using a smartcard, swiping the card through a reader connected to their PC to make the transaction. Users would pay Sony to top up their cards with e-money. In that respect, the service resembles the recently launched Magex digital currency, though Magex uses wallet software stored on a PC's hard disk rather than a separate smartcard. The scheme will be tested in public during summer 2000, said Nikkei, with the full roll-out following later in the year.


In December 2000, Sony reported that it had signed a deal with ten other companies to "start a Prepaid Electronic Money Service called "Edy" for the Japanese domestic market. The joint venture company will be established in January 2001, and full-scale service is due to start in October 2001".

As far as we can tell, the Edy service still operates in Japan, although the idea never really took off in Europe and the US where the pretty simple idea of getting stuff online with a bog-standard credit/debit card is well established.

The road toward e-commerce nirvana is, as we all know, littered with brave attempts to create alternative e-currencies. The most memorable of the UK efforts was Beenz, which fell by the wayside in August 2001.

As for Magex - a National Westminster Bank spin-off - it went on to secure a cash injection from none other than Paul McCartney as part of a tentative move into the music download market.

Magex is these days running bog-standard online and mobile "payment solutions" for Nat West - with no mention of Paul McCartney, music downloads or, sadly, any form of revolutionary digital currency. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
US Social Security 'wasted $300 million on an IT BOONDOGGLE'
Scrutiny committee bods probe derailed database project
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves
Big Content could get the right to order ISPs to stop traffic
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.