Japan’s Rakuten and JR East to Promote Cashless Payments with Potential for Crypto Implementation

Asia Blockchain Review
June 21, 2019

Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten is collaborating with the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), Japan’s largest railway company, to promote cashless payments.

As reported by Cointelegraph, the partnership will allow commuters to charge and use their rechargeable smart fare card, known as JR East’s Suica, using the Rakuten Pay mobile application.

Bringing Cashless Payments via Mobile App

The integrated service is expected to bring cashless transport payments via the mobile app to commuters at 5,000 train stations and around 50,000 buses, together with about 600,000 stores throughout Japan.

According to an official press release, the upcoming service is slated to launch in early 2020, with the two firms said to be looking forward to future joint ventures promoting cashless payment systems.

In February, Rakuten published its 2018 earnings release, which revealed an update to the company’s popular payments app that could potentially facilitate support for crypto payments.

Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency Payment Systems

In August 2018, the firm acquired domestic crypto exchange Everybody’s Bitcoin in a US$2.4 million deal. Earlier this year, Rakuten announced a revision to its corporate restructure, establishing a new payments subsidiary that includes its new cryptocurrency business.

The company currently plans to launch a crypto exchange called Rakuten Wallet in June, having received regulatory approval in March from Japan’s  financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

That same month, the FSA approved Japanese crypto exchange DeCurret, which also revealed a new crypto payment system that would allow JR East’s Suica payment card to be topped using cryptocurrency.

It is worth noting that JR East only considered the implementation, and that no concrete plans have so far been finalized.

Source: cointelegraph.com


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