• Kyodo News

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Becoming the first retailer to issue e-money, Seven & I Holdings Co. began on Monday its electronic payment services called nanaco at some 1,500 Seven-Eleven convenience stores in Tokyo.

The company will gradually expand the number of stores where the e-money can be used. By the end of May, the electronic payment services are expected to be available at all 11,800 Seven-Eleven stores in Japan.

Seven & I, which owns Seven-Eleven Japan Co., Ito-Yokado Co. and other retailers, is expected to introduce nanaco at Ito-Yokado supermarkets this autumn.

Nanaco services are available in two forms — an integrated-circuit card and a mobile phone with the e-money function.

Using money electronically transferred to cards or phones at terminals at the stores, consumers can pay for items by placing the devices over readers.

For every 100 yen spent, nanaco e-money users will receive one point. Each point is valued at 1 yen, which can be used toward subsequent purchases using the e-money.

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