January 10, 2019
  • Rakuten, Inc.
  • Rakuten Baseball, Inc.
  • Rakuten Vissel Kobe, Inc.

Rakuten Group Announces Fully Cashless Smart Stadium Concept

Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi and Noevir Stadium Kobe to provide convenient cashless experience

Tokyo, January 10, 2019 - Rakuten, Inc., Rakuten Baseball, Inc., and Rakuten Vissel Kobe, Inc. today announced that professional baseball team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles and J1 League professional soccer team Vissel Kobe will roll out fully cashless payment systems under the “smart stadium concept” at their respective home stadiums of Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi and Noevir Stadium Kobe from the opening games of the 2019 season of each team*1.

Under the initiative, payment for tickets, food and drink, merchandise and other products available at the stadiums will, as a general rule, all be made through the Rakuten Pay smartphone payment app, Rakuten Edy e-money, Rakuten Point Card*2, Rakuten Card and other Mastercard, American Express, Visa and JCB-branded credit cards, as well as Rakuten Bank Debit Card (JCB/Visa) and other branded debit cards, instead of cash.

The smart stadium concept will also leverage the Rakuten Ecosystem in order to create an even more convenient and stress-free sports viewing experience, offering advanced services through mobile technology, utilizing match and video content and providing a new way to enjoy watching sports.

Rakuten plans to offer visitors to the stadium support in going cashless and run campaigns to give them the chance to experience the benefits and convenience of cashless payments. More details about these opportunities will be announced on the official websites of both teams in the future.

The Rakuten Group offers a variety of cashless payment services, including the Rakuten Pay smartphone payment app, Rakuten Edy, Rakuten Point Card, and Rakuten Card. In addition to being able to receive Rakuten Super Points when using any of these methods to make a payment, making purchases is even easier as no time is wasted searching for or dealing with small change. Both stadiums have decided to go completely cashless to make it easier for fans of the Rakuten Eagles and Vissel Kobe to experience the benefits and convenience of these cashless payment methods.

Japan often stands out among other developed countries for its relatively low proportion of cashless payments. By creating opportunities for fans to experience cashless payments at sporting events, Rakuten hopes not only to reduce the stress related to making payments for fans, but also to promote the adoption of cashless payments across the country.

Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi introduced payment via Rakuten Edy in March 2006 and in July 2018 became the first in Japan to introduce the Rakuten Pay app for payments to roving refreshment vendors. Starting with the 2016 season, Rakuten Point Card was adopted as a members’ card for fan club members and payments at the stadium could be made with Rakuten Super Points at an increasing number of stores. The adoption of cashless payment systems has also been making progress at Noevir Stadium Kobe, with credit cards and Rakuten Edy accepted from March 2013, and Rakuten Point Card was adopted as a members’ card for fan club members from the 2016 season. As there are a limited number of locations accepting cashless payments, Rakuten will roll out cashless payment services and increase the number of stores accepting cashless payments starting from the season home opening games at both stadiums with the aim of becoming fully cashless*2.

The Rakuten Group will continue to promote cashless payments, aim to improve the service and expand the number of locations where they can be used in order to offer more people a convenient and beneficial payment experience.


*1 Cashless payments will be available at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi during the regular season games for both the Rakuten Eagles top and farm teams, while cashless payments will be available at Vissel Kobe games at Noevir Stadium Kobe.
*2 Rakuten Point Card will be available at 87 of the 141 stores at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, but will not be available at Noevir Stadium Kobe at the 2019 season opening game. Plans to support payments made with non-Rakuten Group smartphone payments apps, e-money and loyalty points services are not decided at this stage.

Outline of full cashless payments at stadiums

■Service start date:
Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi   Roll out from the Rakuten Eagles season home opener (April 2, 2019)
Noevir Stadium Kobe   Roll out from the Vissel Kobe season home opener (date to be announced)

■Overview:
Payment for tickets, food and drink, merchandise and other products available at the stadiums will all be made through the Rakuten Pay smartphone payment app, Rakuten Edy e-money, Rakuten Card and other Mastercard, American Express, Visa and JCB-branded credit cards, as well as Rakuten Bank Debit Card (JCB/Visa) and other branded debit cards, instead of cash. In addition, Rakuten Point Card will be available at 87 stores at Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi

  • Images of cashless payments at stadiums
    (Paying a roving refreshment vendor with the Rakuten Pay smartphone app.)
  • (Using Rakuten Edy to pay a roving refreshment vendor.)
  • (Rakuten Edy charging terminals installed in various locations around the stadium.)

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

  • Month
  • Year
  • Category
  • Month
  • Year
  • Category

We use cookies to help provide you with the best possible online experience. Please read our Cookie Policy for more details about the use of cookies. By continuing to use this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. Close