Rakuten expands in-store payment service

Photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten is expanding its Rakuten Pay in-store payment system to support 14 major electronic money brands and Android Pay.

Rakuten Pay provides affiliated stores with a single payments service that supports a variety of payment methods, including credit cards, electronic money, and a smartphone app.

It now accepts payments made through Rakuten Edy, the electronic money service provided by Rakuten Group, nine electronic money brands affiliated to transport organizations, including Suica, PASMO, and nanaco which can be used at Seven & i Holdings retailers across Japan;  WAON,  the electronic money brand provided by the AEON Group (planned service launch in 2018), as well as QUICPay+TM  and iD*1.  

As the system supports Rakuten Edy, it is also compatible with Android Pay. 

In the future, Rakuten said it plans to make the service compatible with payment services based on the international NFC (Near Field Communication) standard, such as  Visa payWave,  Mastercard Contactless, and  J/Speedy, making it possible for affiliated stores to process payments made by foreign tourists visiting Japan as well.

Moreover, the Rakuten Card & NFC Reader Elan will become available for purchase from March 6, 2017. This device is equipped with functions that enable payment through both credit cards and electronic money. 

For participating stores that already carry the older device and stores that wish to accept only major electronic money brands, the Rakuten NFC Reader Piu, an electronic money reader that is equipped with NFC functions, is scheduled to go on sale in the summer of 2017.

Rakuten launched the Rakuten Pay in-store payment system, originally a settlement service for credit cards, in December 2012 to the Rakuten Ecosystem to brick-and-mortar stores. In October 2016, Rakuten began providing a smartphone app service through Rakuten Pay which utilizes the Rakuten Member ID.