We had been hearing about SBI Japan and Ripple’s Money Tap remittance application from quite some time. Today it has gone live, and now Japanese people can use it to send money instantly across borders. It can also be used for local money transfers, but its major appeal is instant, free of cost (for now at least) transfers across geographical boundaries.
The launch of the app was announced a few hrs back on SBI’s official website through a press release. The release said:
“We are pleased to announce that we have connected with 3 banks of Resona Bank, Suruga Bank and Shumishin SBI Net Bank, and started providing them (instant money transfer service through Money Tap). In addition, Money Tap can be downloaded sequentially from 4th of October on the App Store and Google Play.”
-Translated from Japanese using Google Translate.
The app will allow users to send money using bank account number, mobile number or QR code. The download and registration on the app are completely free, and the 61 participating banks of Japan will set their transfer fee themselves. For now, however, the 3 banks getting started with the service (namely Resona Bank, Suruga Bank and Shumishin SBI Net Bank) have decided to completely waive off the fee for transfers up to 100,000 Yen. With this kind of setting SBI Ripple Asia plans to promote cashless transactions even for the smallest amounts, it said in its announcement.
However, there’re a few caveats to be known before one can transfer money using Money Tap:
- Instant payments between bank accounts are possible only if both parties have a bank account in banks that are members of SBI Ripple Asia consortium.
- In addition to that, the bank account should also have internet banking service enabled.
International payments have almost always taken days to be processed. PayPal, Swift based transactions and other forms of international remittance – all take several days to send money from one nation to another. Money Tap has been created to make this process instant. Now it will be interesting to see what kind of reception it gets among Japanese users.