A group of Japanese banks is planning to use Ripple's blockchain-based payments technology in a forthcoming product aimed at general consumers.
According to an announcement on Tuesday by the San Francisco-based startup, Japan's SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank will launch a smartphone application in autumn this year, dubbed MoneyTap, that will be powered by Ripple's distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Ripple said the new application will allow customers of the three banks to initiate domestic transactions 24 hours a day and seven days a week. It further states that by using a bank account or phone number, or by scanning QR codes, users can make instant transactions without the usual the time constraints imposed by traditional bank transfers.
Currently, the three banks – all members of the Japan Bank Consortium led by SBI Ripple Asia – appear to be in the first phase of testing the product. Following its launch later this year, the smartphone service is planned to be rolled out to the other 61 Japanese bank members of the consortium, according to the announcement.
The news marks the latest move by SBI Ripple Asia – a joint venture launched by Ripple and Japan's financial giant SBI Holdings – in bringing blockchain-powered remittances to consumers, following its recent existing exploration of cross-border transactions between banks.
As reported by CoinDesk, SBI Ripple Asia has already initiated blockchain pilots using Ripple's DLT system in sending transaction between financial institutions in Japan and South Korea. Most recently, South Korea's Woori Bank became one of a number of worldwide institutions to have also trialed Ripple's payments product in making overseas transactions.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.
Japanese yen and smartphone image via Shutterstock