In the latest development in Internet commerce, a cyberbusiness consortium will soon make available virtual cash that is transferable between individual consumers.

On Sept. 21, the Cyber Business Association of 115 companies will launch a five-month “Internet cash” trial. The program will allow 1,000 consumers to use, for the first time in Japan, electronic cash on a 24-hours-a-day basis with selected financial firms and at a virtual mall on the Internet, consortium officials said Wednesday.

Unlike current virtual transactions, however, the Internet cash experiment will allow consumers to transfer money between themselves and carry out minute business transactions, according to Masanobu Higashida, secretariat of the association and an executive manager of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.

Users will also be able to receive cash for the Internet money through any of the financial firms participating in the project. Of the association’s 115 companies, 45 are actively involved in the project and 15 will open stores at the cybermall.

There will be no need for users to input personal ID numbers, and they will be able to use the Net cash to pay for news and information, computer software, gadgets and other items, the officials said.

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