Japan's large banks to look at building settlement system for small payments

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s three biggest banks and two smaller banks are starting talks on building a common settlement infrastructure for small payments, with the aim of cutting interbank fees, they announced on Thursday.

The government called last month for a review of bank transfer fees, unchanged for more than four decades, in a broader push to improve digital payment systems.

While everyday transactions in Japan are usually completed in notes and coins, authorities have been keen to promote cashless transactions to raise productivity and curb transmission of the coronavirus.

The core banks of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc 8306.T, Mizuho Financial Group Inc 8411.T and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc 8316.T and two banks owned by Resona Holdings 8308.T will participate in the talks.

In June, the three megabanks set up a separate study group with non-financial firms to look at ways to build a common settlement infrastructure for digital payments.

Reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Clarence Fernandez