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Japan's big banks widen their embrace of fintech firms

Megabanks and others seek to build new ecosystem of data-driven services

Japan's megabanks are embracing fintech, including smartphone-based payment systems akin to those offered by Tokyo startup Origami, shown in action here at a Tokyo clothing store.

TOKYO -- Japanese banks and brokerages are hastening to engage with financial technology, abandoning their self-sufficiency to seek high-tech partners and form new ecosystems around innovative services.

The financial institutions are working on myriad ventures including tailoring loan offerings by using artificial intelligence as well as streamlining transactions via blockchain -- the digital ledger technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

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