Japan Post, Rakuten tie up in digital delivery, cashless payments

Japan Today -- Mar 13
Japan’s postal system is investing 150 billion yen in an 8% stake in the e-commerce venture Rakuten to strengthen a partnership in deliveries, fintech and other areas.

Rakuten's shares shot up 8.6% in Tokyo trading Friday on news of the tie-up with Japan Post. Japan Post's gained 4.9%.

Japan Post Holdings President Hiroya Masuda said Friday that the deal brought together “the digital and the real.”

The cooperation between the old-style analog mail and Rakuten, founded in 1997 and having 70 digital businesses, was announced earlier. It includes delivery services that allow people to make online reservations to pick up packages and mail in various locations whenever they want, both sides said.

The post office will gain technology advice and personnel from Rakuten. In return, Rakuten can use the post office’s network throughout the nation to sell its mobile service at real-life counters. Up to now it has only taken subscribers online.

Cashless payments are another area for possible cooperation. The Japanese post office is one of the biggest banking institutions in the country, holding more than 181 trillion yen ($1.7 trillion) in individual savings.

- Japan Today