A consortium of 61 Japanese banks are now using Ripple’s blockchain technology. The Japanese banks collectively control over 80% of Japan’s banking assets. Now, those banks have begun using a consumer-centric retail payments app powered by Ripple’s blockchain technology.
The app is called MoneyTap. Thanks to MoneyTap, Japanese banks can perform cheaper, easier transfers between themselves. The system replaces Japan’s decades-old clearinghouse system and is expected to lead to significantly lower costs and easier transfers among Japan’s largest financial institutions.
Any Japanese banking customer can download the MoneyTap app today for iOS or Android. Consumers can use it to complete free transfers. Think of it as like the Venmo of Japan.
The news was confirmed by Ripple’s official Twitter earlier today. The San Francisco-based fintech company has been making positive headlines all week. Earlier this week, during Ripple’s Swell conference, the company confirmed that three financial institutions were already using Ripple’s XRP-powered xRapid technology to facilitate cheaper, easier international transfers.
Now, the week of good news continues for Ripple.
Ripple’s Japanese banking partnership was first announced earlier this year. Back in March, the company announced that SBI Ripple Asia would use Ripple’s blockchain technology to facilitate domestic bank transfers in Japan.
SBI Ripple Asia is a consortium of Japanese banks formed in November 2016 to explore how technologies like blockchain can be used to improve business processes among Japanese banks.
The payment protocol is called MoneyTap. It’s available via an app. The app will enable real-time, round-the-year domestic money transfers between bank accounts using xCurrent, Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network, according to details from the SBI Ripple Asia website.
The app can process payments using a simple QR code. You can also enter the recipient’s phone number to send payment.
The MoneyTap app is available on both iOS and Android.
The consortium consists of 61 Japanese banks. However, three banks have specifically announced support for Ripple’s MoneyTap app, including Suruga Bank, SBI Net Sumishin Bank, and Resona Bank. All three banks plan to use MoneyTap and xCurrent to facilitate zero-cost transactions between them.
The only time customers will pay to use the payment transfer protocol is when they’re requesting a return of funds. In that situation, participants will be required to pay a small fee. Other than that situation, however, MoneyTap will be free for Japanese banking customers to use.
Overall, MoneyTap aims to facilitate cheap, easy payments between customers of Japanese banks. The protocol replaces Japan’s decades-old national clearing payments platform called Zengin. Under the Zengin system, banks could transfer money between 8:30am and 3:30pm while also paying banking and transfer fees.
This is big news for Ripple and the blockchain industry as a whole: it’s the first major implementation of commercial blockchain technology on a consumer scale in Japan.
Meanwhile, outside of Japan, Ripple has partnered with Banco Santander to launch One Pay FX, which is also powered by xCurrent. Santander’s One Pay FX allows customers in Spain, the UK, Brazil, and Poland to settle international payments in “3 clicks and 40 seconds.”
You can learn more about the Japanese MoneyTap app today by visiting the official website at moneytap.jp/