AsianBankingFinance: Japan Kicks Off Reiwa Era's Payment Infrastructure
Zengin EDI System (ZEDI) & BOJ-NET
In November 2018, the Japanese Bankers Association and Zengin Net launched a new platform—the so-called “more time system.” This extends the operation hours of the Zengin System, the backbone of the nation’s bank payment infrastructure, extending the service hours of financial services related to fund transfers. As a result, together the existing and new system will enable round-the-clock operations 365 days a year, making it possible to confirm the receipt of funds from other banks in real-time.
In addition, the Zengin EDI System (ZEDI) migrated in December 2018 to XML-formatted electronic message usage, the international standard for electronic financial transactions between companies. This financial EDI platform makes it possible to attach commercial information to domestic fund transfers.
The latest development of the Zengin System are responses to prominent FinTech and digitalization trends. The new architecture of the Zengin System marks an evolution beyond merely the business of recording financial information but rather signals an attempt to extend operations to the business of mediating and enabling customer relationships with a focus on financial services.
The financial industry should harness this payment infrastructure as an open innovation platform to realise its full potential and not limit its application solely to meeting the demands of consumers and industry. The extended operation hours and financial EDI initiative present an opportunity to create innovative financial services.
BOJ-NET is a computerized system that enables online processing and electronic transfer of funds—deposits and withdrawals—and Japan Government Bonds (JGBs) between entities such as financial institutions with current accounts at the BOJ. The operational scope of BOJ-NET has gradually yet steadily been broadened since it began operation in 1988.