Foreign banks offer new solutions for digital payments

Date: 25 Dec 2017

With the rapid growth of the mobile payment market in China, several large foreign banks are starting a new type of business helping retailers to better collect money paid via major digital payment tools.

The banks, including HSBC and Citi, aim to help multinational and domestic companies tap into a market where almost half a billion consumers use mobile phones to pay for goods and services. It is also part of the efforts by foreign lenders to explore digital payment innovation.

The new solution allows retailers in China to better collect payments from customers who are using a variety of popular e-wallets, such as Alipay, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay and UnionPay.

The service can be applied at multiple points of sales including e-commerce websites, social media channels and in-store transactions. It is also integrated with the existing China UnionPay cards network and internet banking interface, according to HSBC.

China is the world's leading mobile payment market. In 2016, the value of mobile payments rose 46 percent from a year earlier to 157.55 trillion yuan ($23.8 trillion), according to the country's central bank.

Research firm eMarketer estimated that nearly 80 percent of Chinese smartphone users will be tapping, scanning and swiping to make payments throughout the country by 2021, compared with 31 percent of users in the US and 23 percent in Germany.

Kee Joo-wong, head of global liquidity and cash management for Asia Pacific at HSBC, said: "In China, mobile payments are increasingly essential to daily life, and have become a catalyst for businesses to engage in multi-channel retail activities. Given this backdrop, companies-in particular consumer-facing multinationals-recognize the payment preferences of their customers and are now giving them the flexibility to choose how, where and when to pay." Attaching great importance to mobile payments and e-commerce, Citibank (China) Co Ltd also launched an integrated collections solution for e-commerce companies on 18 Dec.

Collaborating with leading payment service providers and China UnionPay Merchant Services Co Ltd, Citibank's solution enables ecommerce companies to efficiently consolidate their e-wallet transactions, covering both online and offline transactions.

The new capability takes the e-banking platform and reporting management to a higher level. It also enhances corporate funds control and data transparency so that businesses can better understand the details of their transactions, according to Citi.

Morgan McKenney, Citi's head of Asia-Pacific core cash management, said: "Citi's goal is to thrive in the e-commerce business and become the world's leading e-commerce enterprise partner bank that is dedicated to creating extraordinary banking experiences."

China's online retail transaction volume increased by 35 percent year-on-year to 3.1 trillion yuan in the first half of 2017, and its number of online shoppers reached 516 million, according to data released by the China E-commerce Research Center.

Source: China Daily

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