BOJ may apply ‘fintech’ to its operations in future: Kuroda

By Reuters

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the central bank may apply financial technology, or “fintech,” to its operations in the future given its growing influence on global payments, settlements and financial services.

The BOJ is ready to lead research and analysis to promote fintech in Japan given it has “various implications” for central banking, Kuroda told a seminar hosted by the bank on “fintech” on Tuesday.

“The BOJ is ready to make its best efforts to support the sound development of fintech to enhance the welfare of financial service users as well as economic activities,” Kuroda said.

Fintech involves newly enabled technologies that companies make or use to make financial services more efficient.

A laggard in embracing the fintech revolution, Japan is moving to ease investment restrictions that could free up the flow of capital in an economy sitting on an estimated $9 trillion in individuals’ cash deposits.

Under pressure from weak loan demand, megabanks see an opportunity to earn money through fintech, though they are also aware of its potential to disrupt traditional business models.

In April, the BOJ established a section in charge of fintech to offer guidance to financial institutions seeking new business opportunities.

(Reporting by Leika Kihara; Editing by Kim Coghill)