I live in a country, Australia, where I can get upwards of 5% interest per annum on cash deposits held in a bank account. Having parents-in-law who live in a country, Japan, that offers about 0.02% interest per annum, I see opportunity. In fact, we know someone who banks a lot of her parents savings here to get a higher interest rate and it works out well for them.
My question is, how do I start up this as a service to people in Japan? Has anyone had experience doing this? We visit the country regularly, love it, and have some small connections.
This isn't going to work. You are planning to take JPY (or any other foreign currency), convert it into AUD, deposit into an Australian bank, collect interest in AUD, withdraw AUD, and convert it into JPY (or any other original currency). The one thing you forgot is that exchange rate changes over time to offset interest, inflation, and a bevy of other factors. If it were so easy as you think it is, there would be thousands of people doing it.
In the end, you are likely to have more JPY than what you had originally. However, because of the exchange rate, your actual gain will be much smaller than 4.98% (it'll be 1-2% at most), which means you need to manage millions to make some money for yourself.
When it comes down to financial management, you need licenses, accreditations, and other paperwork that takes a lot of time. So by the time when it's all ready to go, many other things impacting interest & exchange rates will have happened.
My question is, how do I start up this as a service to people in Japan?To take money from people and pay them interest? Simple - register a business, apply for a banking license.
This will show you fast that you need a couple of million USD and a board that knows what it is doing. Minimum. And follow a ton of regulations.