Japan’s Mizuho is the latest banking giant to set up an innovation lab as it bids to nurture a fintech ecosystem and build up relationships with startups.
The lab will be based at Tokyo Finolab, a fintech centre in the financial district backed by real estate giant Mitsubishi Estate and advertising firm Dentsu.
Mizuho says that by basing a lab at the centre it will be able to work closely with startups as it seeks to cultivate innovation and ideas for new services.
As a first step, the bank will invite firms to carry out technical trials of new services based on the development environment of its soon to launch Open Bank API.
Mizuho has been stepping up its engagement with the fintech community, recently teaming up with data big data outfit Metaps and VC firm WiL to explore the development of new payment services.
By combining Mizuho’s customer base and FS expertise, with Metaps’ data analysis tech and WiL’s access to startups, the partners hope to develop payment services specifically for smartphones and explore how to harness data better and the use of blockchain technology.