Major financial institutions in Japan are moving into blockchain to streamline digital identity systems.
Japan’s third-largest bank, Mizuho Bank, and local payment giant JCB are preparing to pilot a digital identity interoperability system based on blockchain technology. The new system will utilize a blockchain solution developed by Fujitsu Laboratories, Fujitsu announced on Oct. 15.
The new joint initiative will allow the companies to verify mechanisms to securely transfer and link member ID information by multiple business operators. This data includes names, addresses and employers stored on a cloud platform built by Fujitsu. The pilot will also involve 100 Fujitsu Group employees. The pilot is expected to last for about four months.
All three companies — Fujitsu, Mizuho Bank, and JCB — have expressed some interest in the blockchain industry in recent years.
Fujitsu has been applying blockchain tech to digital identity management tools since 2019. In July 2019, Fujitsu Laboratories introduced its blockchain-based solution for evaluating user credential identity and trustworthiness in online transactions. The tool reportedly enables users to assign every member a “trustworthiness score” based on user ratings stored on a blockchain.
In late 2019, JCB — Japan’s top credit card issuer — announced plans to adopt a new B2B payment solution based on blockchain. In order to develop the platform, the company partnered with blockchain-based commercial payments platform Paystand. In May 2020, JCB also partnered with technology accelerator Techfund to build a sustainable transaction system on the blockchain.
In February 2019, Mizuho Financial Group also announced plans to launch a digital currency platform for payments and remittance services.