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Jibun Bank thrives without a branch network
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and local telco, KDDI, joined forces to create Jibun Bank, a mobile-only bank that has become the largest and most profitable mobile bank in Japan.

July 28, 2016 | Research

Jibun Bank stands out in a sea of mobile-integrated financial services. One of the differentiating factors of the bank from its inception in 2008 is the 50-50 joint venture between Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU) and a mobile network operator, KDDI. Instead of competing BTMU and KDDI agreed it was more sensible to create a separate bank pursuing the complementary goals of the two different organisations.

“BTMU being a very traditional financial institution, is strong in the senior customer segment and may not be relevant to a younger group of people,” admits Makoto Shibata, Principal Analyst from the Digital Innovation Division of BTM. “We wanted to have a new offering to new potential customers, and these people tend to use mobile devices quite extensively”.

Meanwhile, KDDI sought to strengthen the integration and utilisation of mobile phones in the everyday lives of customers. To differentiate itself from competitors such as NTT DoCoMo and Softbank, KDDI pursued customer retention by offering a data-related, convenient financial service in the form of a bank.

A stand-alone entity

BTMU acknowledges that although its business has secured the older and corporate demographic who prefer traditional banking channels, its grip on the younger market segment seems weak. In response to the mobile trend and the emergence of “netbanks”, BTMU and KDDI formed Jibun Bank, which operates on mobile devices. Jibun Bank offers commercial banking services (ordinary and time deposits) as well as payment services (such as transfers). Payments are coursed through three channels: mobile, internet, and telephone (IVR/operator).

In its decision to spin off Jibun Bank, BTMU took into consideration the limitations posed by the scale and cross-integration of its own back-end systems, which gives less room and time to innovate. Thus, Jibun Bank has a different core banking system from its parent bank. Jibun Bank ha...

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Categories: Banks We Like, Core Banking, Mobile Banking, Retail Banking, Technology & Operations
Keywords: Jibun Bank, BTMU, KDDI, Mobile Bank, NTT DoCoMo, Softbank, Japan Net Bank