Japan’s largest online bank sees record growth in 2021
Earlier this month, Rakuten Bank announced two big firsts: Its 11 millionth bank account*1— a first for a domestic online bank in Japan*2 — and its total balance of deposits (non-consolidated) exceeding six trillion yen.
11 million accounts don’t just happen overnight
Since launching in 2001, Rakuten Bank has attracted customers and retained their loyalty for being easily accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year — as well as for its wide range of products and services. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the new normal which has ensued, many individuals and corporations are using Rakuten Bank for banking services that can be conducted entirely online.
In recent years, more and more customers are choosing Rakuten Bank as their main banking account, and the online bank is responding by continuing to improve its portfolio of services. The company launched an instant payment service for Rakuten Bank accounts on the Rakuten Pay app, increased the number of partners offering Rakuten Bank as an option for automatic money transfers, and its convenience store payment service, which allows app-based payments for payment slips, has become more widely available. Their dedicated app also recently received a redesign.
For corporations, Rakuten Bank’s unique services include its business support program, which offers select business services free of charge to corporate customers, as well as the Rakuten Bank Business Debit Card, which features cashback of 1%.
Secret to success
This success translates to more than just increased account numbers. Since December 2020, when Rakuten Bank’s total balance of deposits (non-consolidated) exceeded five trillion yen, the bank was able to increase its deposit balance to six trillion yen in approximately six months by working to continuously improve existing services — while also introducing new ones.
Notably, this success was not achieved alone. In recent years, the company has strengthened collaborations across the Rakuten’s Group’s diverse portfolio of services, with initiatives such as the Super Point Up Program*3, which scales up the percentage of points earned on the Rakuten Ichiba marketplace, and provision of the Money Bridge service, which connects Rakuten Bank and Rakuten Securities accounts. The number of Money Bridge-linked accounts surpassed two million in January 2021, and the number of customers using multiple Rakuten financial services has continued to increase.
With the pandemic keeping people indoors and necessitating new lifestyle choices, even more customers are turning to Rakuten Bank for its convenience as an entirely-online banking service — one that never requires a visit to a physical location.
*1 Excludes closed accounts.
*2 As of July 5, 2021. Research by Rakuten Bank.
*3 If a customer uses their Rakuten Card to pay when buying products on Rakuten Ichiba and the account used to pay is a Rakuten Bank account, they will earn an additional +1% point-back incentive.