Japanese business to business (B2B) payments firm JCB is partnering with Singapore blockchain technology provider Keychain to capitalize on using blockchain in the payments space, JCB announced in a press release.
Keychain is developing an innovative data security framework targeting the financial, industrial and enterprise spaces. Its central offering, Keychain Core, is a “solution accelerator” that enables its partners to create applications with “self-sovereign identity, data-centric security, secure workflows, contracts, and settlement and custom digital assets.”
Keychain Core works with Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well as computers, tablets, smartphones and wearables.
JCB said it will use Keychain’s platform to build out cybersecurity features and “operational integrity in next-generation payments systems,” according to the release.
The Japan Credit Bureau was launched in 1961 and changed its name to JCB in 1978. The company introduced Japan's first credit card that was compatible with the ISO standard, according to its website.
Keychain was established in 2016. Investors include Monex Ventures, IDATEN Ventures and others. Keychain Core received an award from Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade in 2017 and received the Global Fintech Award by the Association of Banks in Singapore in 2018.
Keychain Core rolled out two years ahead of schedule, according to a September press release.
“Keychain gives our partners access to tooling that is fit-for-purpose in critical applications, two years ahead of what a recent blockchain report by Allied Business Intelligence suggested would be available on the market only in 2021,” said Jonathan Hope, Keychain CEO.
Last week, JCB announced a partnership with the blockchain-enabled commercial payments platform Paystand. The collaboration will offer the first end-to-end digital payments platform for JCB customers and Japanese enterprises. The proposed solution takes on a significant gap in Japan’s current B2B payments market, and provides the corporate subset of JCB’s 130 million customers with an alternative to legacy payment methods such as credit cards and cash.
While Japan’s B2B payments market accounts for $10 trillion in annual volume, it is still dominated by cash transactions, as are many markets. Only 1 percent of Japan’s commercial payments are currently made by credit card, and an even smaller portion are made via technology like bank transfers.