Sony Corp. and NTT DoCoMo Inc. will codevelop mobile phones that subscribers can use to pay for goods and services simply by holding their handsets near a card reader at shop counters.

The two firms will set up a joint venture to develop and manufacture the integrated circuit microchips needed for the service, Sony officials said Wednesday. The IC chips are based on Sony’s Felica smart-card technology.

The two companies are still negotiating how much of an equity stake each will have in the venture, the officials said.

The tieup will give Sony access to the 45 million NTT DoCoMo subscribers.

NTT DoCoMo will initially install the chip in only some of its third-generation FOMA mobile phones, the officials said.

The Felica is a noncontact card that only needs to be held near a reader.

The two companies are expected to adopt the Edy prepaid, rechargeable electronic money feature for the new IC chips, the officials said.

Felica technology is already used in the prepaid passes used by East Japan Railway Co.

Edy cards are used in some convenience stores and other retail outlets.

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