Customers of the Japanese retail giant Rakuten are now able to convert their loyalty points into a variety of crypto. Shoppers need an account with cryptocurrency exchange Rakuten Wallet to convert their loyalty points into bitcoin, ethereum or bitcoin cash. The company made the announcement earlier this week.
Customers can earn loyalty points by spending money at the retailer. These points are called Rakuten Super Points (RSP). Each point is worth one Japanese yen, while equals approximately $0.0091. Customers need at least 100 points ($0.91) to be able to convert the points to crypto. At the moment there’s a daily spending limit of 30 thousand RSP, while there’s a monthly cap of 100 thousand points. For Diamond Members these limits are 50 thousand and 500 thousand points respectively.
Through the launch of the new service, Rakuten Wallet hopes to reduce the barriers of entry to crypto asset trading by providing an easy and more accessible way for new users to start, including novice users who are interested in crypto asset trading with no prior experience.Rakuten press release (December 24th 2019)
Japanese authorities approved the crypto exchange officially, while Rakuten launched a mobile app in August.
Japanese Amazon likes crypto
What Amazon is to American customers, is Rakuten to the Japanese market. The company is worth 14.5 billion dollars, and it made a 1.3 billion dollar profit in 2018. Rakuten is one of the forerunners when it comes to cryptocurrencies. The company accepts bitcoin payments since March 2015.
Rakuten’s move into cryptocurrency could become a blueprint for other companies. At the moment Bakkt and Starbucks are working on a consumer-oriented cryptocurrency payment app. It’s very likely that Starbucks’ loyalty program will also be moven into this.
Crypto payments slowly more accepted
At the same time retailers and webshops around the world are seeing a benefit in accepting bitcoin payments. Cryptocurrency payment processors are a lot cheaper than creditcard companies, while transactions are permanent. There will never be an issue with chargebacks, that’s for sure. In addition 25 thousand retail stores in France will start accepting bitcoin next year as well.
Also published on Medium.