Banks line up to support Mizuho's digital currency

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Japan’s Mizuho Bank will unveil a digital currency platform next month with an app enabling customers to pay at participating merchants with the new J-Coin Pay via a QR code.

Sixty regional financial institutions have agreed to back the concept, which will be available to Chinese tourists through partnerships Mizuho forged with China’s Alipay and UnionPay, according to a press release.

Consumers may use J-Coin Pay to send and receive funds or make purchases. The lure for merchants to accept J-Coin Pay is a lower processing fee compared with credit and debit cards; dozens of stores and restaurants have signed on, along with some transit networks and ride-hailing companies, the release said.

J-Coin Pay—dubbed a stablecoin by some observers—is fixed at 1 yen per unit, to avoid the fluctuations of virtual currencies like bitcoin.

“With the new bank digital currency platform Mizuho Bank and other participating financial institutions will work together towards the Japanese government’s goal of achieving a cashless society,” the press release states.

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Digital currencies Retailers Mizuho Financial Group Ant Group China UnionPay