Japanese IT giant Fujitsu will conduct a joint field trial of person-to-person money transfers between individuals from Japan’s three ‘megabanks’.
Japan is lagging behind the likes of China and South Korea in digital payments – a measly 19% of Japanese society has gone cashless, compared to over 50% of in both China and Korea. Such is the disparity that the Japanese government, this year, established a FinTech growth strategy that aims to double the adoption rate of digital payments to 40% over the next decade.
A new real-world cashless money-transfer trial between all three of Japan’s so-called ‘megabanks’ is certain to provide a boost for that initiative.
In an announcement yesterday, Japanese technology firm Fujitsu revealed it is working with Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MUFG- Japan’s largest bank), to conduct a joint field trial of a person-to-person money transfer service powered by blockchain technology.
Fujitsu is currently developing a cloud-based blockchain platform that will enable money transfers between individuals on a platform that will jointly be used by the three banks. The firm is also working on a smartphone application where users will be able to send and receive money as well as engage in deposits and withdrawals. Both solutions will plug in to the individual’s actual bank account with the three banks.
Through this field trial, Fujitsu will work to develop a service platform that is highly convenient for users in an increasingly monetarily diverse, cashless society… Against this backdrop, Fujitsu will commence field trials with three major Japanese banks that possess broad customer bases to evaluate the creation of new services in the field of person-to-person money transfers.
Fujitsu plans to finish development of the blockchain platform in December this year before a planned real-world field trial from January to March 2018.
Fujitsu, Japan’s largest IT services firm, has already seen operational success in same-day settlements of securities transactions powered by blockchain technology, in a partnership with Mizuho.
In a separate endeavor, the Japanese Bankers Association (JBA) – an industry body working on behalf of all 252 banks operating in the country – is also developing a common blockchain platform for money transfer trials as possible upgrade for the current nationwide payments clearing platform Zengin.
Tokyo image from Shutterstock.