Mizuho Bank is on track to launch its new digital currency platform J-Coin Pay on 1 March with the support of 60 regional financial institutions.
To make use of the currency, users will download a dedicated app on their smartphone. Payments will be made using QR codes.
The value of the digital currency will be fixed at 1 yen per unit, and will not fluctuate on the market, as virtual currencies such as bitcoin do.
Merchants who support acceptance of the coin will be charged fees significantly lower than for credit card payments in a bid to spur adoption and uptake.
The bank has listed a range of affiliated stores to participate in the launch, from retail department outlets to restaurant chains and service industries, including transit networks and ride-hailing taxi operators.
In confirming the launch date, Mizuho has expanded on its future plans for the new currency. Chief among these is a partnership with Alipay and UnionPay to 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 says: "We will expand our bank digital currency platform to provide a wide range of financial services."
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