Japan's BTMU to accept digital mortgage applications
National identity cardholders can complete the entire process from home
TOKYO -- Starting next month, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ will allow customers to apply for mortgages digitally from home if they have a government-issued national identity smart card.
This service, the first of its kind in Japan, will require a device to read the "My Number" national identity card. The device, which will be connected to a PC, will verify the digital certificate inside the card and ensure that the application is legitimate. The flagship unit of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group will provide the reader device for free.
Thanks to this digital identity verification, customers will not need to visit a bank branch. By submitting tax records and other necessary documents electronically -- taking photos using a smartphone and sending the images via the internet, for example -- mortgage applications could be completed in as little as around 30 minutes without leaving home.
Handling the entire home-loan application process electronically will also bring other benefits. Stamp duties will not be charged, since no paper contract will be involved. And tax filing for the year in which a new mortgage is taken out can be completed from home by using the My Number card and the reader.
The service will be offered in cooperation with two real estate companies, Mitsubishi Estate unit Mitsubishi Jisho Residence and Tokyu Fudosan Holdings' Tokyu Livable, as well as Toppan Printing. Other financial institutions and nonfinancial businesses will likely also start using the reader device, since its use is not restricted to BTMU's mortgage application processing.
The Japanese government started issuing the My Number card in January 2016. Because it is not currently essential in interacting with national and local governments, just 8.4% of the country's population, or slightly more than 10.71 million people, had obtained the ID card as of March 8. Services like BTMU's electronic mortgage application processing will likely encourage more residents to apply for the card.