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Japanese bank to allow cellphone ATM access

Marc Perton

Japan's Sumitomo Mitsui Bank plans to let customers start accessing ATMs via cellphone this fall, but that doesn't mean just dialing for cash. The bank will use NTT's FeliCa e-wallet, a near-field communication system similar to one being tested by Cingular in Atlanta. Phones will be equipped with a special chip that will be able to communicate with the ATM. Customers will still be required to enter a PIN or password, so cellphone thieves won't have access to accounts unless they also know the user's PIN. Sumitomo Mitsui is the first national Japanese bank to offer cellphone access to ATMs; a smaller bank, Ogaki Kyoritsu, began offering a similar service in 2004, and NTT set up an experimental cellphone-accessible ATM the same year.

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