Japan’s Rakuten gets approval to offer online banking services in Taiwan

02, Aug. 2019

TAIPEI, NNA – Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc. has received one of the first three licenses from Taiwan’s financial authorities to launch online banking services next year with local partner IBF Financial Holdings Co., challenging traditional brick-and-mortar operations.

The Financial Supervisory Commission said on Tuesday that digital banking licenses were also granted to Line Financial Taiwan, led by Japanese app operator Line Corp., and to Next Commercial Bank, led by Taiwan’s telecom operator Chunghwa Telecom Co.

The joint venture, Rakuten International Commercial Bank Co., is 51 percent owned by Rakuten and 49 percent by IBF.

“As our Asian neighbors such as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore have issued such licenses, it’s evident that online banking is a trend,” Andrew Chiu, spokesman for IBF Financial, told NNA on Wednesday.

Chiu said Tokyo-based Rakuten Bank Ltd’s robust performance over almost two decades and experience are the reasons behind the partnership.

Since the launch of an e-commerce service in 2008, Taiwan Rakuten has expanded its business into areas such as credit cards, travel, a flea market app, and e-books, the Japanese firm said in a statement Wednesday.