The Japanese e-commerce and business giant Rakuten has taken yet another significant step into the world of crypto – by linking its crypto platform with its e-pay operations. (Updated throughout on March 1, 11:57 UTC, with project launch dates.)
In an official release, the firm announced that it has begun allowing customers of its Rakuten Wallet crypto wallet and exchange platform to top up their e-pay accounts using bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and bitcoin cash (BCH), in what it claimed was a Japanese first: The company stated that no other firms allowed “charge-free” crypto-to-e-pay transactions.
The company operates its own Rakuten Cash and Rakuten Pay ecosystems, which allows customers to spend their money via smartphone apps at participating outlets, including the convenience store chains Lawson and 7 Eleven, as well as the Seiyu supermarket group.
Rakuten Cash can also be exchanged for Rakuten Points, which can be used to pay at partner firms like McDonald’s in Japan, as well as the retail chain FamilyMart.
The gateway will mean that crypto customers will also be able to spend their tokens on a range of Rakuten’s own products and services, including its mobile operations, travel, streaming services, as well as its Kobo e-books and audiobooks retailing platform.
The company noted that only customers of its standard crypto wallet would be able to access the Rakuten Cash-buying function, and not the users of its crypto margin trading app – Wallet Pro.
To drum up support for its new offer, the firm announced that it would credit anyone seeking to top up their Rakuten Cash wallets using crypto would receive additional points – as part of a campaign that will run until March 24.
In a further boost for crypto users, the firm will be adding a tab to its e-pay app that will navigate users directly to a Rakuten Wallet-hosted crypto pay interface.
The firm stated that the service was now live and crypto transactions would be restricted to a minimum of around USD 9.50, with a maximum monthly limit of USD 950,000.
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