Feeds

Sony to launch e-money scheme

13 July 1999

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

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. ®

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.