For 15 million Japanese, paper money is a thing of the past, according to the Japan Research Institute. Electronic money has moved from the web to smart cards and mobile...

For 15 million Japanese, paper money is a thing of the past, according to the Japan Research Institute. Electronic money has moved from the web to smart cards and mobile phones. Newsfactor says it has become a way of life for many consumers in Japan:

The e-money trend began there roughly four years ago as a service for busy, on-the-go train commuters. Today, specially equipped mobile phones and smart cards are used to purchase items from convenience stores, department stores, restaurants, newsstands, supermarkets, and other retailers. The Japan Research Institute estimated that by 2008 some 40 million Japanese, roughly one-third of the country, will be using electronic money.

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