Japan’s fintech boosted by nonbank money transfers
Japan’s fintech scene has got a useful boost as the nation is set to permit nonbank firms to handle money remittances of over JPY 1 million ($9,000).
At a news conference in Tokyo, attended by the Nikkei Asian Review, Finance Minister Taro Aso said: “By creating a new service category, we want to make convenient payment methods a reality.”
The country’s Financial Services Agency will grant licences for large-sum money transfers to companies meeting capital requirements and other conditions. It aims to revise existing legislation to allow the services from mid-2021 at the earliest.
Back in 2010, Japan did allow nonbank companies to enter money transfer services, but set a cap of JPY 1 million in exchange for looser regulations.
Of course, that meant banks were able to retain their monopoly on remittances higher than that amount, mostly between businesses.
In this latest development, fintech firms – such as TransferWise – will get a real chance to take on the banks.
There are currently 64 companies registered as money transfer services in Japan. One of the more famous ones is Line Pay, which allows users of the Line messaging app to send money among themselves for free.
In a phenomenally dull quote, Line commented: “We will appropriately respond to various deregulations that are anticipated in the financial field.”