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Mizuho Moves Forward with Digital Currency Plan in Partnership with Alipay and UnionPay


Japan’s Mizuho Bank is on track to launch a new digital currency platform on March 1 with the support of 60 regional financial institutions. The currency will be available to users via a dedicated smartphone app, which will also allow them to make payments using QR codes. The value of the digital coin will be pegged 1:1 against the yen. The bank has partnered with a range of affiliated retailers for the launch, from department stores to restaurant chains and service providers, including transit networks and ride-hailing services.  All of these merchants will be charged fees significantly lower than tose for credit and debit card payments, in an attempt to drive adoption. The digital coin will also be delivered in partnership with Alipay and UnionPay, which will incorporate J-Coin Pay into their QR code-based apps for use by non-Japanese customers visiting the country. The bank is also exploring the B2C possibilities for J-Coin Pay by enabling transfers between corporate clients and individual customers, such as expense accounting and salary payment. In a statement, the bank said: “We will expand our bank digital currency platform to provide a wide range of financial services.”