Rakuten Network Powers Cashback Offers in Google Pay

Recently, Google Pay unveiled an overhauled app for both Android and iOS. With the update, the app took on a new focus toward personal finance, while also providing other services such as peer to peer payments. Now, Google Pay users will be able to earn cashback rewards for select retailers thanks to a partnership with the Rakuten In Store Network.

By activating eligible linked cards in their Google Pay wallet, users can opt-into cashback deals both online and in-store. Among the retailers currently featured are H&M, Adidas, Forever 21, Men’s Wearhouse, and many others. Each of these is made possible through Rakuten’s card-linked offers network.

While these offers are similar to those found at Rakuten.com (formerly Ebates), a notable difference is that shopping via Rakuten’s own portal typically requires online shoppers to make purchases using their specific links. Meanwhile, with Google Pay, users will only need to activate the offer and use their linked card at checkout. It’s unclear if shoppers could then potentially use the Rakuten portal to make purchases and use their Google Pay linked card to “double-dip.”

Commenting on the partnership with Rakuten to bring cashback offers to Google Pay, the app’s director  Josh Woodward stated, “The Google Pay platform creates opportunities for merchants to deepen customer engagement in creative ways with offers, rewards, and customized, dynamic content. What sets the offers experience apart in Google Pay is the simplicity and the ease of use. Users can add these offers with a few taps to their cards and earn rewards when they use Google Pay or pay with their card.” Meanwhile, Rakuten In Store Network general manager Erin Warren noted, “As contactless payments become the norm, consumer adoption of mobile wallets is growing at a tremendous rate. Delivering merchant offers directly to their phones will be an increasingly important tool for incentivizing consumers to fill their shopping carts. Adding Google Pay to our network dramatically expands our reach and positions us to continually deliver incremental in-store and online traffic and revenue to our participating merchants.”

Beyond Rakuten themselves, Google Pay isn’t the only app currently utilizing the Rakuten offers network. Recently the app Bumped — which allows users to earn shares of stock when they shop — revealed version 1.0 of their service, relying on the Rakuten Card Linked Offer Network. Notably, while Bumped now only supports linking Visa and Mastercard as a result of the switch, Google Pay allows users to link American Express cards as well.

With the expansion of Rakuten’s In Store Network comes more opportunities to earn rewards when they shop. What’s more, not only are these offers showing up across more apps but are also taking on slightly different forms in many cases. As a result, you can expect more savvy shoppers to look for ways to make the most of these deals. In any case, this latest addition to the new Google Pay app seems likely to bring more users in to explore what the platform has to offer.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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