Eleven major firms and banks — including Sony Corp., NTT DoCoMo Inc., Sakura Bank and Toyota Motor Corp. — announced Monday that they will set up a joint venture next month to provide a prepaid electronic money service in an effort to realize a cashless society in Japan.

The new company, capitalized at 5 billion yen, will promote the Edy card — a prepaid card for small transactions — and sell terminals for installment at retailers and in consumers’ personal computers.

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