MUFG teams up with Akamai to launch blockchain payments network

MUFG and Akamai to launch Global Open Network Inc joint venture — Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group — “The new company will utilize MUFG’s presence in the payment business and Akamai’s intelligent edge platform, which offers world-class speed and security, with the aim of providing an open payment network in Japan based on new blockchain technology by the first half of 2020.”


Samsung Pay adds support for low-cost international remittances

Samsung Pay starts overseas remittance service in 17 countries — Pulse — “Samsung Pay users can now wire money [internationally] through their mobile phones and save in fees compared to sending money overseas via a conventional remittance route… The beta service will be available in 17 countries including the United States, China, and Japan. The company plans to gradually expand the service to other countries as well as add more partners.”


Japan’s Seven Bank to let customers open accounts at in-store ATMs

Seven Bank to use facial recognition to let people open accounts at ATMs across Japan — The Japan Times — “The new ATM operated by Seven Bank, a unit of retailer Seven & I Holdings Co, would be able to confirm the identity of someone wanting to set up a bank account in a few seconds by scanning a photo ID and taking a picture through a high-precision camera… Seven Bank has over 24,000 ATMs at convenience stores, public facilities and elsewhere nationwide. Several thousand of the new ATMs are expected to be installed by summer 2020 in large cities.”


Mizuho signs up sixty banks for J Coin cryptocurrency payments launch

Mizuho to launch digital currency to promote cashless payments in March — Nikkei Asian Review — “Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group plans to introduce a proprietary digital currency that can be used for shopping and remitted at no cost… To make use of the currency, users will download a dedicated app on their smartphone. Payments will be made using QR codes… Regional banks will be able to provide the same service under the same, yet-to-be-named brand to their customers.”


7-Eleven to open unmanned convenience stores in Japan

7-Eleven opens trial store in Tokyo using facial recognition payment system — The Mainichi — “Convenience store giant Seven-Eleven Japan Co launched a trial 7-Eleven store with a self-checkout system using facial recognition technology here on Dec 17 as it aims to promote labour-saving measures and introduce cashless payments amid concerns of labour shortages… Seven-Eleven Japan Co plans to install the system at small-scale 7-Eleven outlets, such as those inside office buildings, making it the first convenience store chain of its kind in Japan.”


Paytm sets sights on US payments market

Paytm chief eyes dominance in Japanese market as ticket to US — MoneyControl — “After becoming an almost household name in India, digital payments major Paytm has set its sight on dominating the Japanese market, a development that its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma feels will be its ‘ticket’ to the US… ‘If we kill it in Japan, we will get the ticket to go to the big country,’ Sharma said.”


SoftBank backs PayPay mobile payments launch with 20% cashback offer

PayPay logo

SoftBank and Yahoo Japan-backed PayPay is to go live in Japan on 4 December with a 10bn yen (US$88.6m) promotional campaign that will see users receiving a 20% cashback on all the purchases they make with the new QR mobile payments service between the launch date and 31 March 2019, up to a monthly cashback total of 50,000 yen (US$443) per customer... More



JCB rolls out support for Google Pay in Japan

Idemia and JCB partner to launch Google Pay in Japan — Idemia — “Users will be able to make contactless mobile payments in store using their JCB branded credit, debit, and prepaid cards enrolled in their Google Pay, at places such as convenience stores, supermarkets, drug stores and other shops where QuicPay [JCB’s contactless payment product] is accepted… It allows not only JCB, but also its issuing and processing partners to integrate with Google Pay and offer real-time enrolment, provisioning and tokenization capabilities.”


Japanese banks launch blockchain P2P payments service

SBI Ripple Asia’s MoneyTap app has launched in Japan — Coindesk — “The product allows users to send funds to others using just their telephone numbers or a QR code, and utilizes devices’ biometric log-in features, such as fingerprint scanning, for security… Currently, the service is only able to remit between accounts held at the three participating Japanese banks — SBI Sumishin Net Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank. Payments are being offered at no charge and can be sent in Japanese yen or foreign currencies.”



Japanese bank pilots blockchain mobile payments in bars and restaurants

Notice concerning demonstration experiment of S Coin — SBI Holdings (translation) — “S Coin is a settlement coin that allows charging and settlement on smartphones. In this demonstration experiment, for SBI Group employees, we will construct a mechanism that allows cashless settlement at eating and drinking establishments in Izumi Garden Tower, Roppongi 1-chome where SBIH is based.”


LG to pilot blockchain carrier billing system for international mobile payments in stores

LG U+ to offer blockchain-based overseas payment service — The Korea Herald — “Once the service is launched, LG U+ subscribers will be able to buy things at selected retailers using their mobile phones when they travel to Taiwan and Japan. Far EasTone subscribers will also be able to enjoy the same convenience when traveling to Korea and Japan. The service uses direct carrier billing, enabling transactions to be billed and paid through their carrier in their home currency.”


Tokyo Racecourse to replace betting slips with contactless cards and biometrics

Fujitsu’s cashless betting machines use palm vein authentication to support Japan Racing Organization — Fujitsu — “The betting machines will allow users to place bets without using cash by simply holding their hands out to the machine and using their JRA-Umaca contactless membership card… The purchase information is recorded on the JRA-Umaca card making it unnecessary to print a paper betting ticket, and if they make an accurate prediction, winnings will be paid out to the JRA-Umaca card automatically.”


Japanese bank to roll out payment cards with built-in display and keypad

GMO Aozora Net Bank Ltd and Dynamics Inc introduce Japan’s first battery-powered interactive debit and cash card — Dynamics — “A consumer enters a pass code, known only to the consumer, into the keypad on the face of the card. The correct pass code turns the card on so that it can be used in any swipe, tap, or insertion reader via a magnetic stripe, contact or contactless EMV chip. Entering the correct pass code also activates the card’s display to show the consumer’s payment card number.”


Japanese carrier KDDI to pilot blockchain coupons that shoppers can redeem using biometrics in stores

KDDI and Hitachi pilot finger vein biometrics for redeeming coupons in stores — KDDI (translation) — “The user can authenticate himself by holding the finger registered on the authentication infrastructure, so it is not necessary to present the coupon at the store, and the coupon can be used even without the smartphone… Since coupon usage information recorded in the blockchain is extremely difficult to tamper with, it is easy to share coupon usage history securely and reliably between KDDI and affiliated stores, and payment according to the number of coupon users is highly accurate.”


Line sets out plans to roll out mobile payments in Japan

Chat app Line plots finance ‘revolution’ with mobile payments — Nikkei Asian Review — “Line, the operator of Japan’s leading chat app, is pushing hard into the banking sphere with plans to aggressively expand in mobile payments, aiming to get its 75 million users hooked on transactions without the fees imposed by conventional banks… Line is rolling out a version of its app that will let small and midsize merchants accept QR code-based payments via Line Pay. Transaction surcharges will be waived for the first three years, and the system costs nothing to set up.”


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