TOKYO, March 25, 2013 - Rakuten Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755) announced today that the Rakuten Smartpay Service for credit card transactions on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices is now available on 102 different devices. The service upgrade was made today following compatibility test of the dedicated apps* with new smartphones and tablets.
Launched by Rakuten in December 2012, Rakuten Smartpay enables users to conduct credit card transactions on their smartphones, or tablet devices using a dedicated card reader. A major feature of the service is the low initial fee (including card reader and shipping) of 2,980 yen including tax. Moreover, the processing cycle is short – as soon as the next day in some cases – and if a user designates a Rakuten Bank account, there are no fees. Application, screening, results notification and shipping of the card reader are completed in as few as three business days. There are no monthly fees and the app itself is free. It can be used by a wide range of business sectors, especially small businesses and the self-employed who have been dissuaded from introducing Credit Authorization Terminals due to high initial cost and lengthy settlement cycles.
Rakuten has expanded the range of compatible devices to 102, so that merchants can use the Rakuten Smartpay service with very little additional investment and using the wide range of smartphones and tablets they already own. The list of compatible devices can be found attached.
Rakuten is harnessing its group synergies: the initiative to increase uptake of Rakuten Smartpay by merchants is a collaboration among Rakuten Ichiba, Rakuten Travel, Rakuten Delivery and its other business arms. It will continue to offer highly convenient services to small businesses and the self-employed across sectors such as restaurants and bars, accommodation providers and delivery services, where credit card transaction systems are not frequently seen.
●＠ZONE (PC Repair, Tokyo): Mobile computer repair service in the Kanto region. Previously used a credit card imprinter that transferred the raised characters on credit cards onto a sheet, but this meant it took around 20 minutes for the transaction to go through. Started with 2 employees using Rakuten Smartpay to be used on mobile Android devices which require initial cost of just 2980 yen, preparations are underway to enable Smartpay to be used by all sales staff due to the positive response of customers to the short transaction time.
●ThreePetals (Fashion, Tokyo): Vintage shop in Daikanyama area. Many of the expensive purchases in the 10,000 to 30,000 yen range are often made by credit card. As the Rakuten Smartpay processing cycle is “next day,” as opposed to the usual 2-4 weeks for credit card transactions, cash flow has improved and purchase can now be done more smoothly.
●Kimono shop Kasama (Fashion, Saitama Pref.): A kimono specialist store established in 1910. First used Rakuten Smartpay at an exhibition event in Daikanyama in February 2013. Only found out about the service just before the event, but was able to use it over the weekend of the event because the card reader arrived immediately after the online application was made.
●Standing Bar Ryu (Drinking Establishment, Kanagawa Pref.): A bar three minutes’ walk from Yokohama station. Previously dealt in cash only, but about five customers per month were requesting credit card payment. After bringing in Rakuten Smartpay, there was a positive response from groups of customers paying one large sum together and overall turnover at the bar has grown by around 10%.
● Kozozushi Group Chagetsu, Yoga Branch (Delivery, Tokyo): A Rakuten Delivery merchant. In many cases such as delivering sushi to parties or meetings, customers wished to settle their costly orders by credit card, but the merchant could only accept cash payments due to the high cost of mobile terminals. Since introducing Rakuten Smartpay, delivery staff have readers attached to their smartphones, which allow for smooth transactions even in the case of expensive orders.
* Rakuten Inc. used a third-party service to conduct independent verification of device compatibility.