SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between Japanese banking giant SBI Group and US startup Ripple, is set to introduce soon its mobile blockchain-based payment application MoneyTap. The app’s website has already been launched, Takashi Okita, the chief executive officer (CEO) of SBI Ripple Asia, said on Twitter last week.
“What do you think about the logo of the project,” Okita asked his followers. The only disclosed information on the MoneyTap website, except the logo, is that the app will have a free version for devices that use Google’s mobile operating system, Android, as well as a free application for Apple’s iOS of Apple.
In March, Ripple unveiled a plan for the MoneyTap development, based on the company’s distributed ledger technology (DLT), called xCurrent. The app will target Japanese on-demand payments with 24/7 service, as the availability is a significant issue for the country’s business. Currently, domestic banking transactions have a working window, weekdays between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm.
The Japan Bank Consortium (JBC), a body that consists of 61 of the country’s banks, including SBI, will be the main app clients, the US startup said in March. MoneyTap should be released by the end of the year with SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank to be the first clients.
SBI’s direct involvement in MoneyTap is the latest move of the financial services giant into the cryptocurrency market in recent months after the launch of a virtual coin trading platform and the revealing of a cryptocurrency derivatives platform.
“MoneyTap” allows the bank consortium customers to make instant domestic payments and only requires a bank account, phone number, or QR code,” Ripple explained in a press release.
“What’s more, MoneyTap helps shed the costs associated with existing banking and ATM fees that are currently applied to domestic money transfers in Japan, making those payments not just faster, but cost less overall.”
MoneyTap is not the first project that uses xCurrent, Ripple`s protocol that enables real-time verification of bank transactions. In April, Spanish global bank Santander developed a new payment service by using the Ripple DLT. Dubbed One Pay FX, it tracks financial operations from the beginning till the end by securing payment’s details before and after sending fiat money.
The usage of xCurrent does not mean support for Ripple’s own cryptocurrency XRP. The coin is the third largest virtual currency by market capitalization with more than $11 billion in value.