The Japan-based financial services company SBI Group has been very active in the cryptosphere as of late. Quickly becoming a leader in the area of cryptocurrency settlements and transactions, SBI offers a wide array of financial products, including some designed to ease the transmission of money to and from countries where banking services are either severely lacking or even nonexistent.
The company is now making strides toward a cashless society by developing a "settlement coin" intended to allow consumers to purchase goods and services via an application on their smartphone.
According to a September 24 press release, SBI's investment branch has launched a proof of concept for its settlement token dubbed the "S Coin." The S Coin is intended to allow settlements to be completed through an app on the user's smartphone. The new digital token was reportedly developed using the Orb blockchain platform. According to its website, Orb is a "transaction platform where data is synchronized and shared to multiple nodes."
SBI's announcement states that the initial trial will only be open to employees of SBI Group. During the trial, participants will be able to use machines made by automatic cash device manufacturer Glory. These machines will reportedly be linked directly to the S Coin platform. Participants in the trial will use these machines to buy S Coin and put them on a "credit card." Once loaded onto the card, the S Coin will then be transferred to a digital wallet that is accessible through an application on the user's smartphone.
During the trial, employees of SBI will be able to spend their S Coin at local restaurants and bars surrounding the SBI headquarters in Tokyo.
The press release also indicated that the three companies are looking to "create a cashless society by offering various settlement infrastructure[s]" and are adapting to the "changes in users' payment devices and technological innovation accompanying the spread of smartphones in recent years."
Additionally, according to an article in Forbes, the money transfer arm of SBI Group announced it intends to use the digital token BitPesa to offer financial services to companies in Africa, in an effort to "help jump-start African commerce with Japan on a larger scale by adding a much-needed layer of trust and transparency."
In June of this year, it was also reported that SBI had announced the launch of a crypto-trading platform called VCTRADE, which made it the first bank in Japan to create a cryptocurrency exchange.