Business / Corporate

New accounts at MUFG to go digital by default as bank seeks to wean customers off passbooks

JIJI

Major lender MUFG Bank will no longer issue paper passbooks from June to most customers who open new deposit accounts over the counter, sources said Thursday.

The move is aimed at promoting the use of online banking services. MUFG Bank also aims to reduce costs, as banks need to shoulder an annual stamp duty of ¥200 per account for paper books.

Currently, when customers apply for a new account at MUFG Bank, they can choose either a paper passbook or a digital version that can be checked online.

Starting on June 10, customers will be signed up for digital passbooks in principle, unless they specifically ask for the paper version.

Customers holding paper passbooks can shift to the digital version if they wish.

In February the bank bolstered its online services, including by enabling its users to see records of deposits and withdrawals over the past 10 years for free, in a bid to urge its customers to go online.

In a similar move, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. has since 2016 asked customers to use digital passbooks in principle, even if they open bank accounts over the counter.

Mizuho Bank gives customers digital passbooks when they open new accounts online, but issues paper passbooks in principle if accounts were opened over the counter.

“Demand for the paper version is strong,” a Mizuho official said.