Rakuten aims 2b members by 2020 as fintech demand grows
Hiroshi Takasawa

Rakuten provides loyalty points and e-money, usable at thousands of actual and virtual stores


Supported mainly by its financial technology (fintech) ecosystem, Tokyo-based Rakuten Inc aims to gain two billion global members by 2020, according to its managing executive officer president Hiroshi Takasawa (picture).

“At present, we have over 1.1 billion global members with gross merchandise sales surpassing over US$100 billion (RM419 billion) in 2016,” revealed Takasawa at the Rakuten Fintech Conference 2017 in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Insikt Inc, Azimo, Yoyo Wallet, Currency Cloud and Finatext Ltd are among some of the platforms that Rakuten’s fintech ecosystem has invested in thus far.

Meanwhile, the e-commerce giant’s technology venture arm, Rakuten Capital, has invested more than US$1.5 billion globally, in dozens of technology ventures that are helping to strengthen its umbrella companies, such as online broker, Rakuten Securities Inc and online credit card issuer Rakuten Card Co Ltd.

The online conglomerate now encompasses over 70 businesses across 29 countries and regions.

Takawasa said Rakuten has grown from a Japanese e-commerce company into a global innovation conglomerate. And

they plan to extend their business by venturing into other industries such as insurance, energy, health and beauty, parking and also professional sports.

Rakuten offers a wide range of services to both consumers and businesses from the e-commerce sector, which range from retail and travel sales, to financial services that cover banking, securities and credit cards.

Takasawa also highlighted that Rakuten provides loyalty points as well as e-money which is usable at thousands of actual and virtual stores via their credit card. “We issue credit cards that offer financial product services, that include mortgages and securities brokerage, to million of members.

Rakuten fintech venture recorded a revenue of US$781.9 billion — to which 57% was contributed by its fintech counterparts.

Rakuten Card proved to be their strongest fintech counterpart. The annual transaction volume for last year alone was over US$5 trillion. Kinzai Institute for Financial Affairs Inc foresees it to become the largest credit card company in Japan based on transaction volume.

“We also run one of Japan’s largest online travel portals and Viber — an instant-messaging app which has some 800 million users worldwide,” he said.