IT heavyweights Fujitsu have announced a partnership with three major banks, in plans to trial a new system for peer-to-peer money transfer on blockchain.

The Japanese IT company announced the collaborative project alongside Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, which seeks to develop a proof-of-concept model for sending and receiving personal payments using blockchain technology.

The cloud-based system will interact with a smartphone app for convenience, and will essentially link fiat accounts from the three banks’ customers, to enable payments to be sent, received and withdrawn.

The project will facilitate all legs of the transaction, including the initial value transfer, as well as settlement and clearance, a methodology Fujitsu hopes will largely automate the transactional process between users.

According to the Fujitsu press release announcing the project, the pilot scheme will enable them to look at how blockchain technology can be implemented in this use case, with a view to a consumer rollout at a later stage.

“[The project allows us to] evaluate the system’s application of the series of processes involved in monetary transfers between individuals, including transferring funds from the money transfer account for individuals and the actual bank account linked with it.”

Fujitsu has already spent several months working on the development, and plans have been outlined to continue the development stage over the next three to four months.

Current expectations are on track for the first public trials to commence in the first quarter of 2018, which will give the firms a clearer understanding of the practical benefits of the system.

Financial services is regarded as one of the main industries set to benefit from blockchain technology, and there are already a number of use cases and proofs-of-concept in use across the industry.

Similarly, Fujitsu has emerged as one of the leading names in technical support for developing blockchain use cases, having already worked on a number of projects for financial services and other industries.

In the last month, Fujitsu announced it had teamed up with the Japanese Bankers Association to examine more blockchain use cases in the industry, as well as their ongoing role as part of wider blockchain consortiums, like the Hyperledger group.