Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Japan Post Bank have joined SBI Ripple Asia to tap its technology for payments and settlement.

Less than a year ago, SBI Ripple Asia announced the establishment of a Japanese consortium of banks to help conquer the slow and costly pain points associated with sending payments using current rails.

Later, the consortium grew to 47 banks that successfully concluded a pilot implementation of Ripple to offer real-time money transfers both domestically and globally – with the goal of going live by year end.

With the joining of SMBC and Japan Post Bank, the total number of members has touched 61, which is over 80% of total banking assets in Japan.

SMBC, MUFG and Mizuho have also joined the Japan bank consortium using Ripple for payments in Japan.

Ripple global head of strategic accounts Marcus Treacher said: “We commend these banks in Japan for taking a giant step forward on behalf of their customers. This is a great example of a regional banks converging into a global real-time payments network for the greater good”