TOKYO - Citigroup said Wednesday that it is testing a mobile consumer payments system in Japan.

The system is designed to help consumers order goods by entering product codes into Internet-enabled mobile phones.

Payment and settlement would be made through a transaction gateway that would hold the individual's personal shopping and payment information. After a consumer selects a product, the application would automatically offer the consumer shipping and payment options.

The system, which also would enable customers to transfer money to other people's accounts, is being jointly developed with Fujitsu, the Japanese electronics company; DDI and J-Phone, two Japanese telecommunications companies; and 724 Solutions, the Toronto-based software provider.

The mobile payment system is to be available to the public by early next year. There are nearly 45 million registered mobile-phone users in Japan.

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