On February 20, Mizuho Bank, one of the largest banks in Japan, announced a plan to launch a new bank digital currency platform called J-Coin Pay in March 2019 in cooperation with about 60 financial institutions. J-Coin Pay uses QR codes to provide smartphone-based payment services.
According to the announcement, the J-Coin Pay service lets users complete all payment-related processes, including sending, receiving, and paying money, with one application. Using the application, users can move funds from their deposit accounts at participating financial institutions, including Mizuho Bank, to their J-Coin Pay accounts free of charge. The application also allows users to transfer funds among themselves free of charge. The application seems to allow users to transfer funds easily using a telephone number and QR codes and to complete payments on a display.
The application will be available on iOS and Android from March 1, and users will be able to register their Mizuho Bank deposit accounts on the same day. Participating financial institutions include Shinsei Bank, Towa Bank, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank (a subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings), and registration of deposit accounts will start from March 25.
Companies wishing to use or partner with the application as of February 20 include Welcia Yakkyoku Co., Ltd., the leading convenience store operator FamilyMart Co., Ltd., the major family restaurant chain Skylark Holdings Co., Ltd., and East Japan Railway Company.
In its announcement, Mizuho Bank stated: “With the new J-Coin Pay bank digital currency platform, Mizuho Bank and other participating financial institutions will work together towards the Japanese government’s goal of achieving a cashless society.” The bank indicated it is aiming for a society where anyone can deposit, withdraw, and move funds with anyone at anytime and anywhere.
Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, Inc. also announced a plan to update its Rakuten Pay payment application in April, and disclosed a plan to establish Rakuten Payment, Inc. to oversee its cryptocurrency division and payment business, including electronic money, in April. As increasing attention is given to the possibility that Rakuten Pay will handle cryptocurrencies, digital payment in Japan is about to reach a major turning point.
*This article was written by Fisco