Wallet-phone Becomes Big Hit in Japan
When you think about it from a fundamental perspective, money is worthless. It’s a paradoxical statement, but money is simply paper/fibers with dead people printed on it. The only reason we value money is because we trust the government. So why not get rid of money altogether? Apparently that’s what they’re trying to do in Japan, and with a great deal of success.
NTT DoCoMo Inc.’s Osaifu-Keitai service, which literally translates into “wallet-mobile phone,” has become massively popular in Japan in less than three years. The Osaifu-Keitai interface allows subscribers to use their phones to pay for various products and services in Japan, including convenience stores and Tokyo’s huge convoy of taxis.
"Osaifu-Keitai turns DoCoMo’s phones into powerfully convenient tools for payment applications and services that build on the i-mode mobile Internet platform."
Osaifu-Keitai allows users to review their purchase histories and cash balances very quickly. Moreover, users are free from having to handle cash, which means that they don’t have to worry about any germs or dropping any money by accident. The service was introduced in July of 2004. Within 14 months, the number of subscribers have doubled to over 20 million users by March of 2007.