Taiwanese consumers are stretching their Rakuten Super Points (RSP) further than ever thanks to the introduction of the new Taiwan-Japan Super Points exchange program. Introduced June 1, the program enables Rakuten Taiwan shoppers to exchange Taiwanese points for their Japanese equivalent, which can then be used on a host of products and services in Japan. That means a sweets-loving shopper could purchase pineapple cakes from Rakuten’s Ichiba Taiwan marketplace – and then put the points earned from that purchase towards a matcha roll-cake on the Japan marketplace the very next day. Piece of cake.

“Our goal has always been to empower customers by offering them more choices, and now, by enabling shoppers to exchange Taiwanese points for Japanese points, we have taken a step closer to accomplishing that.” – Grace Lo, CEO of Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan.

For Taiwan’s Ichiba business, the motivation behind launching an international exchange program was simple: the more ways there are to spend points, the more valuable they are to consumers. And based on the positive early response to the program, their thinking appears to have been spot on. Since launch, Taiwan’s Ichiba team has seen a double-digit increase in the RSP redemption rate and a higher overall visibility for the RSP program.

The creation of the points exchange program took nearly six months of intense collaboration between the Taiwan and Japan Ichiba businesses after initial discussions began in November 2016. The result, however, is a surprisingly easy-to-use product. Members simply sign in using their global ID (no need to create dual memberships), select the amount of points they wish to exchange – up to 500 RSP per day – and confirm the transaction. The exchange rate, which is currently set at 500 Taiwanese points to 1,500 Japanese points for July, will be routinely adjusted based on currency fluctuations.

So far, the program has proven particularly popular among users of Taiwan’s Rakuten Card. While cardholders already enjoyed a variety of benefits when visiting Japan – such as VIP lounge access and free wifi in airports, hotel, dining and shopping discounts – being able to exchange points earned in Taiwan for use in Japan adds considerable value to the program.

“We are incredibly proud of the unique partnership we have created between Rakuten’s Japanese and Taiwanese marketplaces,” said Grace Lo, CEO of Rakuten Ichiba Taiwan. “Our goal has always been to empower customers by offering them more choices, and now, by enabling shoppers to exchange Taiwanese points for Japanese points, we have taken a step closer to accomplishing that.”

The feature is currently only available for Taiwanese RSP members but, with the continued expansion of the Rakuten ecosystem into new regions and businesses, we’re looking forward to a future where loyalty programs are not bound to national borders. Why not allow e-commerce shoppers to have their cake and eat it too? Wherever it may be shipped from…