SBI Ripple Asia has announced the formation of a consortium of 15 Japanese banks that will network together to use Ripple’s technology for payments and settlement. The consortium’s new payments platform will “enable round the-clock settlement at a significant savings to both banks and consumers”. SBI Ripple Asia is the joint venture between blockchain-based payment-provider Ripple and Tokyo-based fi nancial-services company SBI Holdings. The consortium starts work in October 2016, and will seek to address “a trend for 24-hour and real-time settlement resulting from innovative changes occurring in recent years to information and communications technology, coupled with changing customer behaviour”, and “increasingly diverse needs for remittance concerning smallvalue settlements”. There is also a trend in Asia towards increasing cross-border payment activity due to ecommerce and Japanese companies’ expansion into neighbouring countries.