MoneyTap, Ripple-Powered Mobile Payments, Goes Live in Japan

October 9, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

A new development in the Japanese mobile payments market—which wasn’t exactly a pronounced one to begin with—poses a great potential to shake up the rest of the world’s operations. It’s called “MoneyTap,” and it represents a wide-scale use of cryptocurrency as a mobile payments tool.

The MoneyTap system, recently brought online, is powered by the Ripple blockchain—more specifically, Ripple’s xCurrent payment system—and allows users to make real-time domestic money transfers at no cost over the system. MoneyTap is a product of the Japan Bank Consortium, a partnership effort between several major Japanese banks and SBI Ripple Asia, and xCurrent itself is built around Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), which allows for instantaneous payment settlement complete with tracking at both ends of the payment.

SBI Ripple Asia has actually been working on advancing this concept for some time now, and the previously-noted Japan Bank Consortium actually counts over 60 banks to its roster as of 2017, reports note. The group has been working to develop what’s known as the RC Cloud, a blockchain platform that can deliver payments for not just domestic use, but also cross-border use with Ripple xCurrent at its base.

Takashi Okita, SBI Ripple Asia’s CEO, noted “We are proud to leverage Ripple’s blockchain technology through our new mobile app, MoneyTap, to improve the payments infrastructure in Japan. Together with the trust, reliability, and reach of the bank consortium, we can remove friction from payments and create a faster, safer, and more efficient domestic payments experience for our customers.”

It’s especially interesting that this came out now, especially while the Federal Reserve in the US is looking for a means to carry out faster payments capability. It’s not that we haven’t seen cryptocurrency work as a mobile payments system before, but usually, it runs on the same principle: businesses sell cryptocurrency at high speeds and use the proceeds to pay for people’s stuff. This works, of course, but it’s kind of a cheat. The SBI Ripple Asia plan seems to work differently, and may actually work better.

With the system in the market, we can start learning just how well it works. If it does, the Federal Reserve—and anyone else looking for a new way to speed up payments—may want to take a note from Ripple.