• Kyodo News

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JCB Co., Sumitomo Mitsui Card Co. and 10 other credit card companies will set up a committee by the end of March aimed at enabling clients to pay public bills such as local taxes and water charges by credit card, industry sources said Monday.

The 12 companies will jointly hold talks with ministries and agencies in an effort to introduce the new service, possibly next year, starting with areas where preparations are completed, the sources said.

The companies will set up a preparatory committee Wednesday and will call on other credit companies to join, they said.

Credit card companies will individually sign contracts with the related government bodies on settling payments, but during committee deliberations the companies will discuss matters that include whether to create a joint center to process paperwork, the sources said.

Public bill payments amount to several dozen trillion yen a year, and the local government law was revised in May to enable such bills to be paid by credit card.

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