Rakuten’s online brokerage service recently announced it has reached six million general securities accounts — only five months after surpassing five million accounts in December 2020. In fact, growth has only continued to accelerate in recent years: Rakuten Securities now ranks second*1 in Japan’s brokerage industry in terms of number of accounts as of the end of March 2021.
Retail investors top of mind
Since launching in 1999 as the first dedicated online brokerage service in Japan, Rakuten Securities has worked to continually expand and enhance its lineup of services with retail investors top of mind. The online trading service provides intuitive tools for stock trading and other related services ranging from the iSPEED® series to cutting-edge stock-trading tools like MARKETSPEED® II that make trading possible on a wide variety of platforms.
In addition to providing innovative and comprehensive financial brokerage services, Rakuten Securities also strives to lower investment hurdles for retail investors by leveraging synergies within the Rakuten Ecosystem to provide a more open and accessible service to first-time investors. These efforts have paid off — in 2020 Rakuten Securities achieved the largest number of new account openings among online brokerages in Japan for the third year running*2.
The power of loyalty points
In particular, the appeal of Rakuten Points — Rakuten’s flagship loyalty program — has won over customers through services such as Point Investment, which allows customers to use Rakuten Points to invest in investment trusts (both regular and installment contributions), domestic stocks and binary option trading, as well as incentives such as offering 1% points back for Rakuten Card holders on contributions to installment investment trusts. As one result of this appeal to the popularity of points, the overall proportion of Rakuten Securities account holders in the under-40 demographic has risen over the past five years from 32.4% at the end of March 2016 to 42.3% as of the end of March 2021.
Regular monthly contributions on the increase
At the same time, account numbers aren’t the only thing growing at Rakuten Securities. As of the end of March 2021, 1.33 million customers were making regular monthly savings deposits to investment trusts, with the amount of contributions increasing +164.8% YoY to a monthly total of approximately 45 billion yen. This is a reflection of the large contingent of customers that are aiming for ongoing asset building.
*1 Aggregated by Rakuten Securities from information publicly available on the website of each company, using accounts with balance (Nomura Securities, Daiwa Securities) and total number of accounts (SMBC Nikko Securities).
*2 Comparison of major online brokers. Top five by number of accounts (in alphabetical order): au Kabucom Securities, Matsui Securities, Monex Securities, Rakuten Securities and SBI Securities. As of May 19, 2021. Source: Rakuten Securities research.