Rakuten’s Taiwanese banking JV receives all approvals to start operations

Maria Nikolova

Rakuten Bank and Rakuten Card applied for and received the necessary approvals to operate an online banking business with IBF.

Rakuten Inc (TYO:4755) has earlier today published a notice regarding securing all necessary approvals to start banking operations in Taiwan. Rakuten Bank, Ltd. and Rakuten Card Co., Ltd., subsidiaries of Rakuten Inc, in collaboration with IBF Financial Holdings Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “IBF”), have received the necessary permissions so that the business may start operations.

The new venture is named Rakuten International Commercial Bank Co., Ltd. Rakuten Bank will hold a 50% stake in the business, Rakuten Card will hold 1%, whereas IBF will have a 49% stake. The capital is TWD 10 billion.

Since the launch of an E-Commerce service in 2008, Taiwan Rakuten has expanded its business into areas such as credit cards, travel, flea market app, and e-books. Taiwan Rakuten has formed a strong ecosystem centered around the E-Commerce and credit card businesses, making it one of the most important regions within our overseas business.

In order to further strengthen the ecosystem within Taiwan, Rakuten Bank and Rakuten Card applied for and received the necessary approvals to operate an online banking business with IBF, which had already been considering to enter the banking business. The target is to start providing banking services within fiscal year 2020.

At present, the potential impact on Rakuten Group consolidated financial performance is expected to be limited.

Let’s note that Rakuten is also planning to set up banking operations in the United States via Rakuten Card. The new entity will be named Rakuten Bank America and its business activities will include credit card issuing and acquiring, personal loans, business loans and deposits. The initial capital will be US$ 400 million.

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