Japan’s SBI trials retail payments using its own S Coins for lucrative mobile market

Financial services giant is looking at a new blockchain-powered cashless payment network

SBI Group, which recently launched the first bank-owned cryptocurrency exchange in Japan, is trialling a new cashless payment network, enabling retail purchases to be made over mobile devices utilising DLT via the S Coin network.

SBI is partnering with two other companies to run this trial – Orb, a Japanese DLT provider and Glory, a company focused on helping banks to manage transactions from both a hardware and software perspective.

Employees will get the chance to test the new network by using physical terminals installed by Glory running the S Coin platform. Trial participants will use the terminals to top up with a credit card, after which S Coins will be credited and then sent to a mobile device. Employees will then be able to carry out cashless purchases at cafes and restaurants around SBI’s headquarters in Tokyo.

As yet, no specific details have been released about the workings of the S Coin network. For instance, will it be a public or private blockchain, what will be the token supply be and what consensus mechanism will be used?

A new payment network

One thing that will be learnt from this trial is how employees and merchants find the process of procuring and spending tokens on an unfamiliar payment network combining physical terminals, software and coins. The initiative represents an experimental shift away from fiat currencies and shows the potential of very real use cases for the S Coin and network.

It’s unclear as to whether S Coins will be listed on SBI’s exchange in the near future, but nonetheless this trial represents an interesting experiment for a forward thinking financial Goliath.

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