42 Japanese banks have come together to form the ‘Japan Bank Consortium to Central Provide Domestic and Cross-border Payment’ or the ‘Consortium’. Members include regional financial institutions and internet-only banks with a secretariat consisting of SBI Holdings, Inc. – Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director & CEO: Yoshitaka Kitao; “SBI Holdings” – and its subsidiary SBI Ripple Asia Co., Ltd. – Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director: Takashi Okita; “SBI Ripple Asia”- a provider in Asia of a settlement platform utilizing blockchain technology.
The Consortium will promote discussion, from both technical and operational perspectives, on activities required in domestic and foreign exchange services to utilize blockchain, along with other new technologies. It will also consolidate domestic and foreign exchange services and build 24-hour and real-time remittance infrastructure amongst other things. These developments are being made in response to a changing behaviour and social needs from customers and cross-border payments.
The solicitation of member financial institutions of the Consortium started in late August 2016, and it was initially planned that the Consortium would be launched with about 15 member banks in October and would consist of about 30 member banks by March 2017. Due to the active responses from many financial institutions, the Consortium was finally launched with 42 member banks. Member financial institutions are expected to increase further after the launch, as applications for participation will be accepted continuously.