Japan’s MUFG Bank has confirmed a joint venture with human resources company Recruit Holdings, according to CoinDesk reports Wednesday (Dec. 4), with separate reports noting that the collaboration aims to deploy a digital currency for B2B payments.
Citing The Japan News, reports said MUFG and Recruit are working together to develop a digital currency that would first be tested for smartphone consumer payments, with plans to expand the technology into B2B payments use cases. Together, the companies plan to establish a new company, of which MUFG would own 49 percent.
Reports said their joint venture aims to launch in the first half of next year, with the companies in the process of licensing to become a fund transfer service. The initiative will reportedly focus on MUFG’s and Recruit’s existing client base and will launch a smartphone app that is integrated into users’ bank accounts.
Following reports, MUFG released a statement confirming the joint venture but not disclosing the exact nature of their collaboration.
“It is true that we have concluded the joint venture agreement for an establishment of a new company,” MUFG said of reports linking the financial institution with Recruit. “No other decision has been made in this regard at this time.”
MUFG is already operating in the digital currency space, having developed a proprietary digital token, dubbed Coin, earlier this year. The technology is designed for the bank’s corporate customers to deploy their own currencies.
In an interview with The Japan Times in April, MUFG President Kanetsugu Mike said the coin could “connect economic blocs” for corporates across industries, but declined to say when the coin would be launched.
Previous reports noted JPMorgan has similarly announced plans to launch its own digital currency technology dubbed the JPM Coin, also to facilitate corporate payments and real-time settlement between business clients of the bank.