Creating New Dedicated Organizations to Promote FinTech
FinTech was first conceived of in Silicon Valley, the United States. Since then, a number of venture companies based in this technological powerhouse, including PayPal, Square and Wealthfront, have launched their own FinTech-based financial services. This prompted MUFG to establish an innovation center in 2014 to carry out research on the feasibility of a new business leveraging FinTech. Having begun collecting the latest information and networking with FinTech ventures, MUFG quickly earned expertise, joining the blockchain consortium R3 and becoming a participant in Distributed Ledger Group (DLG).
The Digital Innovation Division was launched by The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU), with MUFG establishing its counterparts at each subsidiary and affiliate in July 2015. Groupwide efforts are now under way to step up FinTech initiatives, and Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd., Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS Co., Ltd., and ACOM CO., LTD., as well as kabu. com Securities Co., Ltd., a securities company dedicated to online transactions, and Jibun Bank Corporation, a company dedicated to online banking, are rallying their strengths.
Furthermore, in January 2016 MUFG opened an “Innovation Labo,” a key base in charge of bringing to life unprecedented ideas and creating a novel business. Moreover, with its facilities physically isolated from the bank organization and other Group business units, this laboratory is expected to be an incubator for open innovation with external partners.
- *1 A new technology derived from the Bitcoin encrypted currency platform, blockchain enables ledger data to be stored separately on the network and is attracting great interest for its capability to make it extremely difficult to falsify transaction data
- *2 An international partnership as part of blockchain consortium, R3 was formed by 42 major financial institutions (as of June 2016) with the aim of developing, evaluating and popularizing what it calls “distributed ledger technology.” R3 is now striving to establish standards for financial services based on blockchain technology.
As part of its ICT strategies, MUFG is focusing on open innovation. MUFG has accumulated financial business expertise and a track record in providing customers with safe and secure services. Bringing together these strengths and external input, MUFG will implement a variety of initiatives to deliver unconventional services with superior customer convenience and transaction safety.
Launching Japan’s First FinTech Accelerator Program
To assist companies with their entry into the FinTech business, MUFG launched the “FinTech Accelerator Program.” Rallying its Groupwide strengths, MUFG is hosting this comprehensive incubation program to assist participants with such processes as business planning and prototype development as well as partner selection and alliance forming that is consistent with business strategy. The first round welcomed five companies, including those taking on the business development utilizing AI-based investment algorithm and those aiming to create a “point” business based on blockchain technology.
Holding Hackathon “FINTECH CHALLENGE 2016 Bring Your Own Bank”
Today, a number of software companies are making their programs available online through Application Programming Interface (API). This trend has led to a growing movement to create new programs through ad-hoc projects in which developers reach past their organizational boundaries to work together. The financial business is a willing participant. With this in view, BTMU hosted a “hackathon” (an event in which software developers collaborate intensively on development projects aimed at creating new programs and designing innovative services, with competitive elements often being incorporated). BTMU is the first to sponsor the event of this kind using banking API. Under the theme of “creating a new, convenient and easy-to-use service through the combination of IT and finance,” 12 companies participated in this hackathon.
FINTECH CHALLENGE 2016 Bring Your Own Bank award ceremony