Rakuten Partners with Japan’s Largest Railway Firm to Encourage Cashless Payments




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Rakuten partners with JR East

Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce giant has teamed up with the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), Japan’s biggest railway firm. This partnership seeks to promote cashless payments. It will let commuters top up and use their rechargeable smart fare card dubbed “Suica” through Rakuten’s Pay mobile app.

According to a report, this project will bring cashless transport payments to more than 5,000 trains station and 50,000 buses. On top of this, the partnership will allow Suica holders to buy goods or services in more than 600,000 stores spread across Japan.

The official press release unveiled that this project will go live in spring in the coming year. Also, the two firms are looking to introduce other joint ventures to boost cashless payment networks further. Per the official, this partnership would let Suica holders earn Rakuten super points when they use the in-app Suica charge function. On top of this, users will be in a position to use Suica services securely. They would not need to download a new app or give credit card details.

Requirements for Using the System

  • A user must have a Visa, Mastercard or JCB-branded Rakuten cards for the charge function to work.
  • Suica holders have to download the Mobile Suica app to buy commuter passes and green car tickets.
  • At the initial stages, this service will only be available for Android users whose devices support Osaifu-Keitai. Plans to introduce the service on iOS will be considered afterward.

Rakuten’s Venture into the Crypto-verse

This news comes after a publication unveiled that an upgrade to the Rakuten payments app would support the use of crypto. The e-commerce giant noted that the app would have “all payment solutions embedded into one platform”.

Prior to this, Rakuten had bought Everybody’s Bitcoin, a Japan-based crypto exchange in August last year. The acquisition saw the firm part with $2.4 billion. Afterward, Rakuten announced that it had revised its corporate structure. The restructuring involved creating a new payments subsidiary that included its new crypto enterprise.

Apart from the aforementioned projects, Rakuten is also working to launch a crypto exchange named “Rakuten Wallet” this month. The firm got approval to operate the exchange from Japan’s FSA in March this year.

In March, the FSA approved Decurret, a Japanese crypto exchange. Following the approval, the exchange unveiled a new crypto payment system that would facilitate the topping up of Suica using crypto. However, despite Decurret’s announcement, no solid plans have been made to launch the initiative. Reportedly, JR East only considered the introduction of such a system.

Do you think the partnership between Rakuten and JR East will help the crypto sector achieve mass adoption? Let us know in the comments below.