is Japanese electronic money
introduced by ÆON
from April, 2007
. It is a rechargeable contactless smart card
. Like many other smart card systems in Japan, it uses RFID
technology developed by Sony
known as FeliCa
. Its name comes from , meaning harmony. The card's official mascot is a white dog. The card reader is said to makes a "waon" sound upon successful transaction, a Japanese onomatopoeia
for dog barks.
It is often compared against their rival's card nanaco by Seven & I Holdings, which owns 7-Eleven Japan and Ito-Yokado. Unlike nanaco, the basic WAON Card can be purchased without any registrations. Like other FeliCa-based systems, WAON has a mobile payment system, known as Mobile WAON.
According to Nomua Research Institute, as of April 2008, there were approximately 4.2 million WAON users with around 25,000 participating stores.
Types of cards
- WAON Card: A basic prepaid card that does not require registration.
- WAON Card Plus: A card for ÆON Card holders. Accepts postpay as well.
- ÆON Card (WAON Card integrated): A credit card.
WAON Card is issued by ÆON, while other two cards are issued by AEON Credit Service.
As of September 2007
In Kantō region, AEON Group stores already accept Suica, iD, and PASMO as well. For other regions, they plan to accept other cards such as ICOCA or TOICA.