Rakuten gears up for provision of online banking services in Taiwan

Maria Nikolova

Rakuten Bank and Rakuten Card have set up a joint venture with Waterland Financial Holdings in order to start banking operations in Taiwan.

Rakuten Inc (TYO:4755) is preparing to expand its business. Rakuten Bank, Ltd. and Rakuten Card Co., Ltd. subsidiaries of Rakuten Inc, announce today that they have reached an agreement with Waterland Financial Holdings Co., Ltd. (WFH), for the establishment of a joint venture. The aim of the JV is to start a banking operation in Taiwan.

Since the launch of an E-Commerce service in 2008, Taiwan Rakuten has expanded its business into areas such as credit cards, a travel, flea market app, and e-books. To further boost its ecosystem within Taiwan, Rakuten has agreed to begin preparation to launch an online banking service in Taiwan together with WFH. Subject to acquisition of approvals from the authorities, Rakuten Bank, Rakuten Card, and WFH will follow necessary procedures to provide banking services in Taiwan.

Rakuten Bank is set to own 50% in the JV, WFH will own 49%, whereas Rakuten Card will own 1%.

Rakuten Group currently expects the impact on its consolidated financial performance to be limited.

Rakuten Group has been gradually expanding and diversifying its portfolio of businesses. One move that is worth mentioning is Rakuten’s decision to acquire virtual currency exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin Inc. The deal is done via Rakuten Inc’s subsidiary, Rakuten Card Co., Ltd. The acquisition is based on a stock purchase agreement between Rakuten Card Co., Ltd. and Traders Investment, Inc. which is the parent company of Everybody’s Bitcoin.

Regarding the acquisition’s rationale, Rakuten says it expects that the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future. In order to provide cryptocurrency payment methods smoothly, the company believes it is necessary to provide a cryptocurrency exchange function.

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