Japanese banking giant Mizuho Financial Group, will launch its digital currency service, a new cashless payment system, known as J-Coin Pay on March 1, according to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review. The J-Coin will be exchangeable with the Japanese Yen at a rate of one-to-one, known as a stablecoin.
The group wanted to ensure that the coin was ready ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games which will be held in Tokyo.
They are teaming up with more than half of the banks across Japan and will together host a combined 56 million user accounts. These accounts will serve as digital wallets on the J-Coin Pay platform.
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Mizuho will have competition from chat app provider Line and e-shopping company Rakuten but the experience will not be too dissimilar for users. The customer will only need scan a QR code at the till and they will be charged through the J-Coin Pay app. However, an advantage over their competitors is that users will also be able transfer money from their J-Coin wallets to their bank accounts, without paying any fees.
There is no screening required as there is for credit cards, and it will be available to users younger than 18, another edge over their competitors. The company says making it available to younger customers will allow them to cater to “the needs of a wide range of ages”.
Their aim with J-Coin Pay is to reach a minimum of 300 000 stores and at least 6.5 million users within a couple of years. There are some major retailers within Japan who are in discussions with the bank. FamilyMart, part of FamilyMart Uny Holdings and Bic Camera are two companies showing interest, as is East Japan railway.
Japan is one of the most cash-dependent nations in the world, and cash represents 70 percent of all transactions by value in Japan. Many people prefer to use cash for shopping and feel apprehensive about other payment methods. J-Coin is designed to be more convenient than cash and spendable over any smartphone. It’s expected to add up to $90 million USD to the economy.
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