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Japanese banks to link e-money with popular Suica transit card

JR East's large user base gives digital latecomers a potential edge

JR East's Suica card, and its accompanying app, are a popular contactless payment method in Japan. (Photo courtesy of JR East)

TOKYO -- Japan's three megabanks look to link their digital currencies to East Japan Railway's popular Suica smart transit card, hoping to expand their customer bases by improving convenience.

Mizuho Financial Group unit Mizuho Bank last year rolled out its J-Coin Pay platform, which can be used for money transfers and cashless payments, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is reworking plans for its MUFG Coin digital currency. But the banks lag behind startups that jumped on the trend earlier, such as SoftBank Group unit PayPay.

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