September 17, 2013

DOCOMO and Visa to Offer Japan's First Mobile-Based Virtual Prepaid Card for Online Shopping

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Tokyo, Japan, September 17, 2013 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC., a personalized mobile solutions provider for smarter living, and Visa Worldwide (Japan) Co., Ltd., a global payments technology company, announced today that they will begin offering docomo Kouza Visa Prepaid, Japan's first mobile-based virtual prepaid card service, from September 18.

The new service, which combines the spending control of prepaid services with the convenience of credit cards, will expand online payment options for DOCOMO subscribers. The docomo Kouza Visa Prepaid users will receive a 16-digit card number linked to their account on docomo Kouza, the company's electronic money service, to shop at most online stores where Visa is accepted, and the purchases will be immediately debited from their account.

Unlike a traditional credit card application, a DOCOMO subscriber can simply sign up for this service on the docomo Kouza website for quick approval without the need for a screening.

There are two types of virtual prepaid cards available. The one-time card, which is valid for 10 days, is aimed mainly at casual shoppers and those who would like to try out the service, while the regular card, which is valid for three years, is designed for customers who want to use the service regularly.

According to the Nilson Reportnotice1, the volume and number of transactions via debit or prepaid cards have already exceeded those via credit cards in the global market. Japan's debit/prepaid market is forecasted to reach 650 billion yen by 2016notice2.

(Open a PDF file)(Attachment) Outline of docomo Kouza Visa Prepaid Service (PDF format: 69KB)

  • notice1 The Nilson Report Issue 1014, March 2013.
  • notice2 Yano Research Institute, Electronic Payment Market, Key Research Findings 2012-.



NTT DOCOMO provides innovative, convenient and secure mobile services that enable smarter living for each customer. The company serves over 61 million mobile customers in Japan via advanced wireless networks, including a nationwide 3G network and one of the world's first commercial LTE networks. Leveraging its unique capabilities as a mobile operator, DOCOMO is a leading developer of cutting-edge technologies for NFC mobile payments, mobile GPS, mobile TV, intuitive mobile assistance, environmental monitoring, smart grids and much more. Overseas, the company provides technical and operational expertise to eight mobile operators and other partner companies. NTT DOCOMO is listed on the Tokyo (9437), London (NDCM) and New York (DCM) stock exchanges. Please visit for more information.

About Visa Worldwide (Japan)

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Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 30,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit (Page will open in a new window.)

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