About half of around 100 regional banks in Japan will introduce a new cashless payment system developed by Mizuho Financial Group Inc. starting in late March, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

Mizuho Bank will launch the J-Coin service on March 1, with the regional banks following suit from March 25, they said.

The plan to join the Tokyo-based mega-bank's J-Coin initiative comes at a time the government is pushing to expand the use of cashless payments ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Japan's aim is to double digital payments so they account for 40 percent of all financial transactions by 2025.