- Ripple Labs has completed its investment in SBI’s Money Tap, becoming the largest external stakeholder.
- Money Tap is expected to be rolled out to 20 Japanese banks by the end of the year.
Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings has further expanded its partnership with Ripple. The company announced today that Ripple Labs has completed the investment as a shareholder in SBI’s subsidiary Money Tap Co, Ltd. This makes Ripple the largest external shareholder of Money Tap with 33%.
In addition, Money Tap will acquire two senior executives from Ripple, Emi Yoshikawa and Eric Van Miltenburg. As part of the announcement, SBI Holdings said of Ripple Labs’ investment in Money Tap:
We will promote the realization of low cost.Accelerate the development of new functions and services by welcoming Ripple, a developer of core technologies and a partner of SBI Holdings, as a new shareholder in addition to the existing shareholders of 38 companies including many regional financial institutions.
Japan as a gamechanger for Ripple
SBI Holdings is a Series C investor in Ripple and arguably its most important partner in Asia. The connection between the two companies goes so far that Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of SBI Holdings is also a board member at Ripple.
Money Tap is “building a next-generation financial infrastructure between individuals, financial institutions and businesses” based on RippleNet. It allows banks to settle transactions instantly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The application launched in fall 2018 with three banks and will gradually be rolled out to the Japanese banking consortium led by SBI Ripple Asia, consisting of 61 banks covering more than 80% of all banking assets in Japan, according to an earlier announcement.
SBI announced today that in addition to the three banks currently connected, three new banks will be established in February. The number of affiliated banks is expected to increase to 20 by the end of the year.
Furthermore, the Money Tap application is also expected to place an emphasis on user security. Therefore, this spring, the company will strengthen new “identity verification and personal authentication/authorization functions with eKYC and biometric digital identity, and make them available to financial institutions and payment companies as a common platform.”