Rakuten, a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company, has launched commercial banking operations in Europe with Rakuten Europe Bank.
The European offices will be headquartered in Luxembourg, and will offer banking service across Europe.
Plans of Rakuten Europe Bank
The bank will initially focus on providing payment, deposit and loan services for merchants on the PriceMinister e-commerce platform in France. In addition, the bank has an intention to expand these services to merchants on other Rakuten Group marketplaces.
Rakuten Europe Bank will also offer banking services to new and high-growth fintech businesses across the region.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to begin commercial operations with our European banking license from our Luxembourg offices. Since its founding, the Rakuten Group has worked to develop the Rakuten Ecosystem, a comprehensive range of online services centered around Rakuten membership, including fintech businesses, such as credit cards, banking, securities and life insurance,” said Masayuki Hosaka, Representative Director and Vice Chairman of Rakuten Inc and head of Rakuten’s fintech businesses.
The company already operates online banking services on its home turf, providing service to more than 3.8 million account holders.
In March 2008, Rakuten established its European headquarters in order to supervise the operations, finances and human resources of Rakuten’s businesses in the region.
After the acquisition of the banking license in February 2015, Rakuten took steps for the launch of commercial banking operations with Rakuten Europe Bank from this base.
“With Rakuten Europe Bank, we aim to provide banking services in Europe that will parallel the successes of the Rakuten Group’s fintech businesses in Japan,” added Mr. Hosaka.
Another indicator of Rakuten’s increased interest in European market is a sponsorship deal with FC Barcelona. In November 2016, Rakuten Group replaced Qatar Airways as the main Shirt Sponsor of FC Barcelona. The sponsorship deal will see Rakuten pay €55 million a year, along with €1.5 million each time the team wins La Liga and an additional €5 million each time they win the Champions League.