Japanese banking giant SBI says it’s working to make in-store XRP payments a reality.
The company is integrating XRP with its Ripple-powered remittance app called MoneyTap. The app will use QR codes to give people a seamless, instant way to pay for products and services with XRP. SBI says it will test the app at a restaurant at its Tokyo headquarters before launching the service for retail customers by the end of the year.
The app is fully licensed by Japanese regulators and currently uses Ripple’s blockchain-based cross-border payment solution xCurrent to power instant remittances between 13 regional banks. SBI is working to roll out MoneyTap to a banking consortium that’s led by SBI Ripple Asia comprised of 61 banks covering more than 80% of all banking assets in Japan.
SBI Holdings is one of the biggest banks involved in cryptocurrency. The company built the first bank-owned crypto exchange, called VCTRADE, and recently announced it will work to bring institutional investors to the platform, which offers Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP.
“SBIVC currently offers services only for retail customers. After AML/CFT and custody solutions that we are planning to implement are finalized, we would like to move forward and start providing services to institutional investors.
SBI is also a longtime Ripple partner, and invested in the San Francisco startup back in 2016. SBI’s CEO Yoshitaka Kitao is an outspoken supporter of blockchain, Ripple and XRP, and was recently appointed to Ripple’s board of directors. According to Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen, he will play an integral role in helping the company expand throughout Asia.
“From conventional financial markets to digital asset markets, his deep understanding of the financial services industry will offer valuable business and financial expertise to help Ripple continue to scale. Approximately half of our customers are located in Asia-Pac today, and we’re rapidly expanding our global footprint across the region. Mr. Kitao comes at a perfect time for Ripple as we look to deepen our customer base in Asia and beyond.”