JCB and MasterCard Agree to Share Common Contactless Communications Protocol

March 17 2006

JCB, the only Asian-based international card brand, and MasterCard International have reached an agreement to share a common contactless communications protocol.

The protocol is the MasterCard PayPass™ ISO/IEC 14443 Implementation Specification, which provides for a global standardized technology for contactless payment services. Visa International made an announcement to support the protocol in March 2005, and JCB's adoption of the specification means that these major international card brands will be basing their contactless payment applications on the same communications protocol.

While contactless payment applications vary by brand, the common specification for communications protocol will allow POS terminal vendors to reduce the burden of system development, as well as reducing initial costs and lead time for most financial institutions and merchants because they do not have to purchase multiple POS terminals to support contactless card products. The common communication protocol ensures global interoperability for contactless payment products and as a result it is anticipated that the pace of deployment of contactless terminals will accelerate.

"We are pleased to work with MasterCard on this communication protocol. I am sure this agreement will contribute to simplifying the various operational procedures for our partner members and vendors," said Akihiko Shigemori, senior vice president, advanced technologies, JCB Co., Ltd. "With this arrangement, JCB can accelerate the expansion of its contactless payment field in the international markets, while continuing to boost the QUICPay™ product in Japan, which is based on FeliCa® technology."

JCB rolled out the "QUICPay™" contactless payment product in Japan in April 2005, a scheme supported by Sony's FeliCa® chip specification, which is widely employed for contactless payment solutions such as public transportation fare systems and mobile phone applications. In recognition of the necessity of globally standardized contactless payment services for markets around the world, JCB plans to begin development of an international JCB brand contactless solution based on the common communication protocol this year.

About JCB
JCB is an international credit card brand and the largest card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding overseas in 1981. Its merchant network includes 13.16 million merchants and spans 190 countries and territories. JCB cards are now issued in 19 countries and territories, with 55.99 million cardmembers. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with more than 350 leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and cardmember base. JCB's corporate philosophy of "Service from the heart," a commitment to responsive and high-quality service, continues to guide it as it creates the future together with its customers, merchants and partners. For more information, please visit: or