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Rakuten Eyes Financial Consolidation with Unified Unit


Japanese conglomerate Rakuten has unveiled plans to merge its financial operations into a unified unit. This move is part of the firm’s plan to optimise operational efficiency and enhance collaboration across its diverse financial services portfolio.

Announced on Monday, April 1st, the proposed consolidation would encompass Rakuten’s bank, insurance, securities, card company, and other fintech businesses under a single entity. The conglomerate aims to foster closer collaboration and synergy among its various financial divisions, leveraging data integration and AI utilisation to deliver innovative financial services and enhance customer value proposition.

The decision to streamline its financial operations reflects Rakuten’s commitment to adapt to the evolving dynamics of the fintech landscape and capitalise on emerging opportunities in the digital economy. By consolidating its diverse financial offerings into a cohesive unit, Rakuten seeks to position itself as a leading fintech player capable of delivering seamless and integrated financial solutions in an era characterised by zero cash transactions.

Rakuten emphasised that the reorganisation is driven by the imperative to enhance collaboration and facilitate prompt decision-making, key factors in delivering innovative financial services tailored to evolving customer needs. The company anticipates that the unified unit will be operational by October, signalling its commitment to expeditiously implement the proposed consolidation.

The move by Rakuten aligns with consumer preferences for integrated financial services offerings, as highlighted by research conducted by PYMNTS Intelligence. Close to 70% of consumers in the United States and Australia expressed a desire to consolidate their banking, investment, and shopping activities into a single app, underscoring the growing demand for comprehensive and convenient financial solutions.

The trend of convergence between traditional banks and emerging digital players underscores the evolving dynamics of the financial services industry. While online channels continue to gain prominence, there remains a recognition among consumers for the value of face-to-face interactions with banks, particularly for high-value transactions. This presents an opportunity for banks to leverage cross-selling opportunities and enhance customer engagement.

As the financial services landscape continues to evolve, Rakuten’s strategic move to consolidate its financial operations underscores its commitment to innovation and customer-centricity. By fostering collaboration and integration across its diverse financial offerings, Rakuten aims to enhance its competitive positioning and deliver value-driven financial solutions in an increasingly digital-centric ecosystem.

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