CardLinx member Rakuten is partnering with JR East, Japan’s largest railway to promote cashless payments. The new service will enable Japanese consumers to charge and use their rechargeable smart fare card — JR East’s “Suica” — via the Rakuten Pay mobile app.
Rakuten has been a leader in both e-commerce and payments in Japan and throughout the world. However Japanese consumers have been slower to adopt card payments and mobile payments than other developed economies. For example, card based payments account for less than 30% of payments in Japan versus more than 65% in the USA.
This partnership aims to create a “habit” of using cashless money for Japanese consumers by prompting them to use Rakuten Pay for everyday purchases like commuting on the railway. This approach has been successful in a number of other markets.
Another common approach to drive adoption of cards is to provide offers and discounts linked to the cashless payment including card-linked offers. Rakuten has a successfull card-linking program in both Japan and the USA.
Don’t miss Rakuten’s keynote at CardLinx Asia in Tokyo next Tuesday on June 11.