SBI Ripple Asia, the Asian branch of the California-based and New York regulated firm Ripple Labs, announced the creation of a Japanese consortium of banks in a new network that will use Ripple’s technology for payments and settlement. The consortium will initially be composed of fifteen major, regional and internet-based banks in Japan and aims that the new payments platform will enable round-the-clock settlement at a significant cost reduction to its members and their consumers.
Already reported to take part in the new group are Japanese financial conglomerate SBI Holdings, the Bank of Yokohama and SBI Sumishin Net Bank. Ripple announced its joint venture with SBI Holdings —SBI Ripple Asia— early this year and credits SBI’s considerable regional influence for having opened the door for the wider adoption of Ripple’s technology across Japan and throughout Asia.
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Currently, cross-border fees can run up to thousands of yen (or tens of dollars). In the new setup, the consortium says banks will pay about 90% less in fees. Using Ripple’s technology will also provide customers of these banks with real-time domestic and cross-border payments, 365 days a year. Ripple projects that it will increase the size of the consortium to thirty banks, and that the new service will go live in the spring of 2017.
In July, Mizuho Financial Group (MHFG), one of the largest financial groups in Asia, became one of the first Japanese banks to pilot blockchain technology for cross-currency settlement using Ripple.