SBI Holdings, the co-developers of the MoneyTap payment service has brought 13 more banks into the fold. The XRP Research Center officially confirmed the development saying:

 “@sbigroup announces that SEVEN additional Japanese banks (20 in the aggregate as of today) have agreed to invest in Money Tap, Co. Ltd, a brand new company operating a domestic settlement system for digital payments that #RunsOnRipple.”

In partnership with Ripple’s xCurrent, the app is an instant localized bank to bank transfer channel. It was designed to serve the East Asian nation’s bank customers in need of a 24 hour a day, seven days a week transactions option. The new banks on the MoneyTap platform include Shimane, Ashiga, Chikubo, Towa, Toho, and Fukushima banks.

Ripple partners with large money transfer magnates

Ripple has been working tirelessly to bring in more financial institutions on board its blockchain solutions. However, with a lack of regulatory clarity on the usage of XRP by banks, the blockchain startup has focused more energy on money transfer solutions. Ripple has, for instance, partnered with MoneyGram and Ria Money. Consequently, the blockchain startup has invested equity in MoneyGram, which is set to use xRapid and therefore, XRP in its operations.  

The MoneyTap app was launched on October 3, 2018, and has been a massive milestone for the San Francisco-based blockchain startup.  The smartphone app powered by Ripple’s hyper ledger blockchain technology was the first of its kind developed for use by different Japanese Banks.

The very first members of the Japan bank consortium to go live with the app in 2018 were Resona Bank, Sumishin Bank, and Suruga Bank. The app would then be rolled out to other members of the consortium that has 61 banks. Led by SBI Ripple Asia, the consortium holds at least 80% of all of Japan’s banking assets.

MoneyTap by Ripple’s massive use case in Japan

Japan is an anomaly of sorts in a region where the rise of mobile payment systems is staggering. In neighboring South Korea, for instance, almost every transactions is cashless. South Korea is also planning to go virtually cashless by 2020, and coins are about to be phased out. In contrast, Japan’s transactions are 80% cash based. Fiat, in its physical status, has a deep cultural significance in Japan. The country is, therefore, encouraging cashless payment innovations that will appeal to the masses.

The MoneyTap use case is extensive. As an illustration, the domestic payment window in Japan is inflexible, occurring between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm on weekdays. The blockchain powered MoneyTap, on the other hand, allows for instant domestic payments at any time or day. All customer needs is a QR code or phone number and a bank account. Its transaction fees are not just faster but cheaper too. 

At the height of Ripple’s bank partnership deals in Japan, Singapore, and South Korea amongst others, Resona Bank pulled out of the MoneyTap partnership. The Japanese bank was one of the users of the app and is the fifth largest bank group in Japan. The announcement made on April 11, 2018, was a big blow for Ripple’s xCurrent MoneyTap solution and its budding confidence with banks. It is rumored that Resona Bank had left the Ripple ran app for its native Resona Wallet App. The increased new support from these 13 banks is a good sign that Resona Bank’s departure did not do much damage to Ripple’s payments domination plan.