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Greetings from Tokyo on another rainy day, although the typhoon has passed!

We spent some quality time this past week thinking about where we are in terms of FinTech adoption. We know where we came from in the shape of “traditional” financial services, and we have some sense of what the future might look like, although it is a highly probabilistic view. But how far have we traveled?

The echo chambers that are the FinTech community and crypto Twitter make you sometimes think that the digital future will be here tomorrow. …


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As we have previously reported, the Japan FSA had taken a hands-off approach and left commercial terms for Open Banking access up to negotiation between the banks and the FinTech startups, with the result that implementation got delayed from May to September 2020, and significantly weakened through the acceptance of screen scraping, as called out by Moneytree Chief Platform Officer Mark Makdad earlier this year.

Despite these struggles, banks that see Open Banking as an opportunity rather than a threat, have thrived, with young online-only bank GMO Aozora Net Bank reportedly doubling their API agreements over the past six months, for example. …


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Sompo Japan, a major non-life insurance company, has introduced a new personnel system to break away from the seniority system in which salaries increase according to years of service. This applies to 18,000 of the 25,000 employees of Sompo Japan.

Hierarchy levels below the section chief have been reduced from five to three, and guidelines for the length of stay for each level have been abolished.

According to the company, it will be possible to be promoted to a section chief position, which had been traditionally arrived at in the late 30s at the earliest, even in the late 20s, purely based on ability and competence. …

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