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The challenge of
Sony Bank WALLET:
letting you withdraw money
in 11 different currencies.

Sony Bank WALLET

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Sony Bank WALLET is a new system consisting of "an integrated cash card cum Visa debit card that allows you to shop globally and withdraw money in 11 different currencies, including the Japanese yen, the US dollar and the Euro". We talked to Masao Kunitsu, of the Wealth Management Business Planning Department, about Sony Bank's new challenge.
* The service is available only to the residents in Japan.

Introducing a new style of shopping to increase our customers' satisfaction.
Use your saved foreign currency
without converting it again.

"Our motivation is to make our customers happy, to keep surprising them, to make them say, 'Wow! I would've never thought of such a product, but it's really amazing!'" says Kunitsu about what drives Sony's innovation.

Sony Bank WALLET is a Sony Bank cash card that includes a Visa debit function for shopping around the world. From an operational point of view, keeping cash cards and debit cards separate is smoother and safer, since it carries less risk. From the customer's perspective, however, a single card is easy to carry and convenient to use, and this convinced Sony Bank to develop an integrated card.

Mr. Kunitsu

Processing transactions in a fraction of a second so that customers won't have to wait at cash registers and ATMs

"Sony Bank lets you pay your shopping bills in 11 different currencies, including the Japanese yen, directly from your account. The Visa debit card differs from a credit card in that your shopping bill is immediately debited to your account. The Sony Bank WALLET has a special "Yen Assist" feature which, when you don't have sufficient foreign currency in your account, automatically purchases from your yen savings account the foreign currency required to pay the bill. If these transactions were to require time, customers would end up waiting at cash registers or ATMs. In order to ensure a new style of shopping, transfers must be made around the world in "a fraction of a second. "This is one aspect of the system where the technical staff really delivered the goods."

The Sony challenge:
a future without currency barriers

This was a large-scale project, involving almost a 100 people. Kunitsu looks back at its development and recalls one of its tensest moments.

"It was at the meeting which had been scheduled for announcing costs. Product development costs had run to several hundred millions yen, and I was asked to give a presentation to explain the reasons. While I had expected it would take me about 20 minutes, the meeting ultimately ended up lasting 1 hour and 40 minutes. And it wasn't because they wanted to pull the plug on the project or were overtly critical of it; there were simply so many genuine questions they wanted to ask in order to understand why costs had risen so much."
"Our customers expect Sony to provide them with peace of mind, show them innovative ideas and things they had not imagined before; in other words, they expect Sony to change their lifestyles. For my part, I want to oblige by creating a new business and keep amazing our customers," says Kunitsu, echoing Sony Bank's will to keep challenging itself.

Overview

  • Introducing a new style of shopping to increase our customers' satisfaction.
    Use your saved foreign currency without converting it again.
  • Processing transactions in a fraction of a second
    so that customers won't have to wait at cash registers and ATMs
  • The Sony challenge:
    a future without currency barriers

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