Japan's MUFG has refuted media reports that it is preparing to launch a a digital currency as part of a payments joint venture with human resources outfit Recruit Group.
News outlets in Japan say the bank and Recruit - which owns the Indeed.com job hunting site and Glassdor - are preparing to launch a smartphone-based cashless payment service.
The joint venture, 49% owned by MUFG, would utilise Recruit’s client base of eateries, hotels and beauty salons to amass participating stores and users for the service, in a market currently dominated by technology companies.
Like its local rival Mizuho, MUFG has been experimenting with its own digital currency, MUFG Coin, for use as a unit of account for cashless P2P and B2B payments by phone.
The Japanese bank has sourght to play down the reports, issuing the following statement: "Certain media outlets today published reports regarding establishment of a joint venture between MUFG Bank, Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of MUFG, and Recruit Co., Ltd.. These reports are not based on any announcement made by MUFG. It is true that they have concluded the joint venture agreement for an establishment of a new company. No other decision has been made in this regard at this time."