Global IT and fintech company, Digital Wallet Corporation (DWC), has reached an agreement with Seven Bank, Ltd (Seven Bank), a Japanese bank run by Seven & i Holdings Co Ltd, operating Seven-Eleven stores in Japan, to acquire its subsidiary and international money transfer service, Seven Global Remit, Ltd. DWC owns and operates Smiles Mobile Remittance (Smiles), known as Japan’s first and most popular mobile remittance application. This acquisition will allow DWC and Seven Bank to collaborate in redefining and improving the landscape of international money transfer services and financial inclusion for foreign residents in Japan. The agreement concluded on 9 February 2024.
Customers currently using Seven Global Remit’s service are scheduled to transition to Smiles sequentially. Seven Bank and Digital Wallet will promptly inform their customers regarding the service transition as soon as it is determined.
With the alliance between DWC and Seven Bank, all Smiles customers will gain access to Seven Bank’s extensive ATM network after the service transition, significantly enhancing convenience. This partnership establishes Smiles Mobile Remittance as the premier choice for foreign residents in Japan, providing unparalleled access to the country’s largest ATM network and setting its position as the number one service in the market.
In 2014, DWC Founder and CEO Eiji Miyakawa, a former Sony Corporation leader of a cloud technology group, started Digital Wallet with leading engineers of Sony with the same goal to utilize IT and fintech to maintain peace and sustain the international society. Since its launch in 2017, Smiles Mobile Remittance has assembled a diverse team representing over 13 nationalities, each contributing their talents to deliver exceptional service. Recognized as the top-rated mobile remittance application in Japan, Smiles was also honored as the recipient of the prestigious Good Design Award 2021 for its outstanding product design.
With the anticipated easing of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and administrative support aimed at addressing labor shortages accompanying the decline in the working-age population, there is an expected increase in foreign residents living in Japan.
“We started Smiles with the ambition to offer a fair, fast and affordable remittance service for our hardworking migrant workers,” said Mr. Miyakawa, “and because we made it happen, we’ve been receiving mass support from our customers and now we’re number one in Japan.”
Smiles aligns its service with evolving needs, providing an array of features to offer convenience for its customers including the option for direct remittances from over 50 thousand ATMs in Japan. In addition to Lawson Bank, Japan Post (Yucho) Bank and AEON Bank’s ATMs, Seven Bank’s network of 27 thousand ATMs will make Smiles Mobile Remittance Japan’s largest ATM network, beating all competitors in the market. This will also enable customers to easily deposit funds into their accounts and send money to over 200 countries worldwide using their smartphones.
“We’re very grateful that Seven Bank approached us to work with them,” added Mr. Miyakawa. “It goes to show how much they trust our expertise in IT and fintech, and we are even more motivated to help the growing number of migrant workers in Japan. Through this alliance, we strive to deliver a better international society with the Seven Bank team.”