Rakuten looks to merge fintech, banking units


Rakuten Group unveiled plans to combine its fintech subsidiaries and listed banking unit into a single business, as the parent looks to boost collaboration as it faces continued losses following heavy investment into its mobile unit since 2020.

Chair and CEO Mickey Mikitani explained in a statement the companies signed an MoU agreeing to initiate discussions aimed at reorganising its fintech business and Rakuten Bank.

It’s fintech unit covers everything from credit cards and online payments, to securities and insurance.

The reorganisation is expected to take effect in October, but the company noted the timing is subject to change depending on the discussions, approvals and licences from regulatory authorities.

Rakuten Bank is 49.3 per owned by the group and will proceed with “further examination and discussions” on a reorganisation, the company stated, adding better data integration and AI use are “crucial for providing innovative financial services and adding more value to customers”.

Rakuten Mobile’s operating loss in Q4 2023 fell 35.8 per cent year-on-year to JPY68 billion ($448.5 million), as it added 1.5 million subscribers to take its total to 6 million.

Its parent booked a net loss of JPY339.4 billion in 2023, its second-largest annual loss.

Source: mobileworldlive.com