- Service will be used for payments and remittances
- Cashless payment service is highly competitive
- Japan wants to capitalize on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
More than half of the 100 Japanese regional banks are on line to introduce Mizuho Financial Group’s cashless payment system. Mizuho Banks will be the first to unveil the J-Coin followed by the rest of the banks in the group.
According to an article appearing on the English-Language Asian Nikkei publication, the group will launch its digital currency service that will be used for payments and remittances on March 1, 2019. The J-Coin will leverage direct links to users’ bank accounts in a bid to stave off established players in the blazing hot cashless payments niche.
Host 56 Million User Accounts
The banking giant has teamed up with at least 60 other financial institutions spread over the entire country.
The banking conglomerate will host a combined 56 million user accounts which will become digital wallets for the J-Coin Payment platform. Some old hands in the market include chat App provider Line and e-shopping giant Rakuten.
Where the rest thrive on established programs such as reward points, how J-Coin will separate itself from them will determine its destiny. Mizuho CEU Tatsufumi Sakai explained:
“The arrival of all these new entrants is eroding the common-sense notion that payment services are provided by financial institutions.”
J-Coin’s transactions will be executed via a smartphone App via a telephone number, a Quick-Response (QR) two-dimensional barcode or the Line messaging App’a personal identification number (PIN). J-coin will also differentiate itself with the popular prepaid smartcards by allowing transactions between individuals without the need for retailers to install readers.
Ahead of 2020 Tokyo Olympics
The system is likely to become popular in Japan following Mizuho’s decision to collaborate with leading Asian cashless payment service providers including China’s Alipay. This is likely to make J-Coin an attractive option for the many foreign visitors in a country where cash has almost always been the form of payment by consumers all over the country.
The decision by regional banks to join Mizuho in the launch of J-Coin comes amidst a push by the Japanese government to expand the cashless payment market as the country prepares to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Japan has purposed to double digital payments so they can account for at least 40 percent of all financial transactions by the year 2025. Sources have indicated that the new service will first be introduced to individuals with accounts in regional banks like Nishi-Nippon and Chiba Bank among others.