Rakuten Plans to Merge Bank and FinTech Operations

Japanese conglomerate Rakuten is considering a major reorganization, with the potential merger of its financial operations into one cohesive unit. This move, announced on April 1, would bring together the company’s bank, insurance, securities, card company, and other FinTech businesses into a single group, according to PYMNTS.

Rakuten stated that this decision is driven by the belief that enhancing collaboration across its FinTech businesses, including making prompt and flexible decisions, as well as deepening collaboration through data integration and AI utilization, is crucial for providing innovative financial services and adding more value to customers.

Simultaneously, Rakuten Bank has been actively working to expand its customer base, strengthen its revenue base, and seize growth opportunities in the FinTech sector, with the aim of becoming a leading fintech company in the era of digital transactions.

The reorganization is expected to take place in October, marking a significant step for Rakuten’s financial services strategy.

In a related study conducted by PYMNTS Intelligence, it was found that consumers are increasingly interested in combining banking and other financial services into a single, convenient app. Approximately 7 in 10 consumers in the U.S. and Australia expressed a desire to merge their digital retail and grocery shopping, as well as bill tracking, into a one-stop app.

PYMNTS’ research also indicated that consumers prefer managing their banking, investment, and shopping activities through an everyday app, highlighting the growing demand for seamless integration and convenience in financial services.

The trend of collaborations between traditional banks and emerging digital players was recently discussed by Dave Scola, CEO, U.S. at Form3. Scola emphasized that while the shift to online banking channels is undoubtedly significant, there is still a demand for face-to-face interactions, especially for high-value transactions. These interactions present banks with opportunities to cross-sell additional products and services, a strategy they are keen to preserve in the evolving financial landscape.

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