September 2, 2014
There is a paradigm shift towards digital technologies in general and electronic/mobile commerce/payments in particular. Mobile Commerce is estimated to reach $278.9 Bn by 2018 up from $13.8 Bn in 2013, according to PRWeb. With this increase, comes a shift in the way we make payments across the globe. There will be an estimated 1.73 Bn users of social networks in 2013 which will rise to 2.55 Bn 2017 according to a report by eMarketer. It would be an understatement to say that social media will play a major role in the future of payments. Recently, Rakuten Bank Ltd. announced the launch of Japan’s first money transfer service utilizing social media, called Transfer by Facebook (patent pending).
In November 2002, Rakuten had launched MailMoney – a service that enabled users to transfer money from one bank account to another just utilizing an email address and name of the recipient alone. Knowledge of the recipient’s bank, account number or branch, was not required.
Although MailMoney continues till date, Rakuten decided to launch Transfer by Facebook in order to keep up with the extensive social media proliferation. The new service enables users to transfer money to anyone on their Facebook friends list utilizing the Rakuten Bank App.