61 Japanese Banks Tap Ripple Blockchain Consumer Payments App
A consortium of 61 Japanese banks, comprising over 80% of the country’s banking assets, are gearing toward the launch of a retail consumer payments app using Ripple blockchain technology.
Titled “MoneyTap”, the new smartphone application will enable customers of 61 banks to settle instant domestic transactions in Japan using San Francisco-based FinTech startup Ripple’s blockchain technology. An announcement by the company confirms customers will be able to trigger domestic money transfers for instant transactions 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Led by SBI Ripple Asia, the Japan Bank consortium was first launched in November 2016 with 42 members in a concentrated effort to develop blockchain solutions in payments and settlements. The consortium has since swelled to 61-member banks that account for over 80% of all banking assets in Japan. Customers from the consortium’s banks will be able to make instant domestic payments using a QR code, phone number or a bank account number, Ripple adds, resulting in a far easier and convenient process compared to traditional bank transfers.
Japan’s current national payments clearing platform, ‘Zengin’, only allows domestic money transfers between 8:30 AM and 3:30 PM in the country, with the added burden of existing banking and/or ATM fees. Ripple contends that its blockchain-based payments app will make for faster and cheaper domestic money transfers.
SBI Ripple Asia CEO Takashi Okita added:
At launch, three members of the consortium in SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank will go live with the app in autumn 2018 followed by a ‘staggered rollout’ for the remaining 59 banks, Ripple said.
The effort represents the first notable application in consumer-ended retail payments over a blockchain by SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture by Japanese financial services giant SBI Group and Ripple. The soon-to-launch blockchain payments app follows a notably successful money transfer pilot between the consortium’s banks over a year ago.
Since then, SBI Ripple Asia has also forayed beyond Japan’s borders in piloting international blockchain remittance transfers between Japanese and South Korean banks. A separate pilot between Japan and Thailand over Ripple’s blockchain resulted in a bank transfer within “two to five seconds”.
Featured image from Shutterstock.