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Business trends

Japan megabanks nix plan for peer-to-peer mobile remittance

Mizuho, SMFG and MUFG opt to hone their own digital currencies

Young women use their smartphones in Tokyo's upscale Ginza district. Japan's digital payment market is growing increasingly crowded.
Women use their smartphones in Tokyo's upscale Ginza district. Japan's digital payment market is growing increasingly crowded.   © Photo by Tsuyoshi Tamehiro

TOKYO -- Japan's three largest banking groups have scrapped plans for a peer-to-peer remittance service linked to mobile phone numbers, deeming the project redundant as each develops its own digital services.

The canceled program by Mizuho Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group used the blockchain technology that underpins such cryptocurrencies as bitcoin. Customers could send and receive money using their phone numbers or email addresses through virtual accounts tied to their deposit accounts. Tests ran during fiscal 2017, with broader trials planned for fiscal 2018.

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