Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. will launch a financial technologies unit Oct. 1 in collaboration with 32 regional banks nationwide.
MUFG will put up ¥3 billion in capital to start Japan Digital Design Inc., which is expected to develop new services including those for cashless settlements using smartphones at small shops. It will also promote the automation of operations through artificial intelligence.
The partner banks include Fukuoka Financial Group Inc., Chiba Bank, Aomori Bank, Sendai-based 77 Bank and Nagano-based Hachijuni Bank.
The financial technology (fintech) unit will be staffed from the parent firm and partner regional banks. It will also hire engineers externally.
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, the group’s core banking arm, has started a trial of its original virtual currency, MUFG Coin. The fintech unit will also conduct research on so-called blockchain technology, used for digital currencies.