Blockchain firm Ripple has developed a payment app that settles transactions instantly, in partnership with a consortium of 61 Japanese banks.
The San Francisco-based company said Wednesday that the app, called "Money Tap," will first go live in the fall. It will initially be available with three banks included in the consortium — SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Suruga Bank and Resona Bank — before being rolled out to the rest of the consortium.
Blockchain, which is distributed ledger technology, is more commonly known as the tech that underpins cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. It maintains a growing list of transactions or other data across a decentralized network.
Ripple's own blockchain technology is known mainly as the underlying network for its cryptocurrency, XRP, often referred to itself as ripple. But it is also used more generally for real-time transaction settlements.
Due to its decentralized nature, blockchain networks remove the need for an intermediary, such as a large bank, to clear and settle money transfers.
Ripple said that the app would make it easier for banks to settle round-the-clock domestic payments in Japan. Consumers will require a bank account, phone number or a QR barcode to use the app, Ripple said.
The banking consortium is led by SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between Ripple and SBI Net Sumishin Bank's parent company SBI Group.