Financial services company SBI Holdings announced it had secured a license from Japanese regulators for its joint money transfer operation with Ripple in a statement Wednesday, September 26.

SBI Ripple Asia, a venture under development with Ripple since 2017, now has permission to handle electronic payments as an “Electronic Settlement Agency Service Provider” under legislation rolled out in March that year.

According to SBI’s statement, its smartphone app MoneyTap — which will allow users to send payments using a platform based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) — is now closer to a public launch. The statement adds:

“SBI Ripple Asia is planning to register the electronic settlement and other settlement enterprises in order to properly implement electronic payments and other settlement aspects related to MoneyTap in the future.”

In June, SBI Holdings launched its in-house exchange VCTRADE, with Ripple (XRP) as the first asset to receive support, and Bitcoin (BTC) coming later. Earlier this week, SBI Holdings reported they would be trialing its blockchain-based “S coin” for making retail purchases with users’ smartphones.

Japan continues to sharpen its regulatory oversight of the crypto exchange sector in particular, with the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) confirming new entrants to the market would undergo increasingly stringent checks before being able to obtain the necessary license.