Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/19/kddi_mobile_phone_banking/

Japanese mobile-based bank cashing in

Mobile phone-based bank accounts

By James Sherwood

Posted in Phones, 19th June 2008 08:02 GMT

Japanese carrier KDDI hopes the country's mobile users will soon begin shunning physical cash, as it's created a bank of its very own, paving the way for more mobile-mediated payments.

The Jibun Bank Corporation (JBC) – a joint venture between KDDI and the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ – will begin accepting applications for bank accounts next month. Each account allows users of cashless-enabled mobile phones to incorporate a bank account into the talker, making e-cash payments easier and faster.

Cashless payment services – which are already widespread in Japan – will make it possible for handset users to “simply and rapidly” pay for items through their mobile phone, claims JBC.

The bank added that customers will be able to use “mobile phone number transfers” to swap money between accounts at the touch of, well, literally several buttons. Customers with handsets offering more sophisticated banking functions can also use JBC’s “mobile phone bank book” to manage their bills through a handset.

To promote "cell-phone cash", JBC’s also launching a save-as-you-spend campaign that awards customers points based on how much money they spend through such services.

Only time will tell how popular JBC’s service becomes, but the bank’s clearly expecting big things with mobile-based money because its five-year financial projection value for deposits has been set at ¥1.5tn (£7.1bn/€8.9bn/$13.8bn).