The three largest banks in Japan have created a research group that will consider creating a common settlement infrastructure for digital payments. This initiative was supported by the central bank and the financial regulator.
The Japanese adhere to conservative views, mainly using cash in everyday settlements. The government has previously tried to promote non-cash transactions to increase efficiency, but recently this topic has become even more relevant, since it allows reducing contacts between people in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Unlike countries such as China, where one or two digital payment systems dominate the market, in Japan there are many offers competing with each other, and so far they have not been able to shake the dominance of banknotes and coins. It is assumed that the presence of a single infrastructure will make a difference.
The project will involve banks Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, as well as the East Japan Railway and several other non-financial firms. Representatives of the national bank, the ministry of finance, and the financial services agency (a government organization that oversees banking, stock exchange, and insurance) will participate as observers.