September 27, 2013
  • Rakuten, Inc.

Rakuten Concludes Merchant Agreement with JCB for Rakuten Smartpay Service

Rakuten now accepts all major international credit card brands in the aim to increase the number of merchant stores and
promoting the greater use of credit cards as a form of payment

TOKYO, September 27, 2013 – Rakuten, Inc. announced today that it has concluded a merchant agreement with JCB Co., Ltd. for the Rakuten Smartpay Service for credit card transactions on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, and that it will begin accepting a total of four new international credit card brands this autumn, including JCB and American Express.

Both Rakuten and JCB will use this merchant agreement to capture new merchant users of the Rakuten Smartpay Service, and to promote the greater use of credit cards as a form of payment. Now that it accepts JCB and other major international credit cards, Rakuten will turn its attention to expanding services through new merchant stores and smartphone transactions. Meanwhile, JCB anticipates that leveraging Rakuten Group synergies to increase a number of new merchant stores will help to further accelerate the shift of transactions from cash to credit card going forward.

Now accepting all major international credit card brands

The Rakuten Smartpay Service initially accepted credit card payments made by Visa, MasterCard, or Rakuten Card. This merchant agreement will enable it to also accept other international credit card brands starting this autumn that will include JCB, American Express, Diners Club, and Discover. This means that the Rakuten Smartpay Service will now be able to accept all major international credit card brands.

Increasing the number of merchants that accept credit cards

JCB is Japan’s only international credit card brand and enjoys a large share of the domestic credit card market, while American Express and Diners Club are internationally recognized as premium credit cards, and Discover is an international brand utilized by a large number of in-bound users. Now that the Rakuten Smartpay Service accepts these credit card brands, this will increase the number of merchants that accept credit card transactions on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. This will make paying by a credit card convenient and easy, as well as expand not only customer traffic from Japanese consumers, but also foreign nationals as well. Meanwhile, merchant stores stand to benefit from an increase in credit card usage because it will generate greater sales opportunities.

Rakuten Smartpay merchants pass rigorous screening processes

After Rakuten’s screening process, Rakuten Smartpay merchants also undergo another screening process by two different acquirers (Rakuten Card and JCB). Only merchants that ensure full compliance with domestic regulations and guidelines as well as pass the unique screening process of each acquirer are allowed to become an official Rakuten Smartpay merchant.



Both Rakuten and JCB are committed to building a convenient and secure transaction environment where their credit card holders can pay on a smartphone, tablet, and other mobile device with peace of mind.

Starting this autumn, both Rakuten and JCB also plan on holding joint promotions and campaigns leveraging one another’s strengths and assets.

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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