Ingenico to tap Chinese cross-border spending on online games and education
China’s cross-border e-commerce is expected to hit US$1.1 trillion in 2017, says iiMedia Research
Ingenico Group, which has the world’s largest payment acceptance network, has singled out online skill-based games and education as new growth engines to better tap China’s cross-border electronic payment business.
The company, a partner with Alibaba Group to help the Chinese internet giant expand the presence of Alipay’s mobile wallet in Europe, said it would continue to drive China-related businesses in the travel and retail sectors.
“We see growth area in skill gaming which has largely remained domestic (business in China) until now,” said Nick Tubb, Asia-Pacific chief of Ingenico ePayments. “There are certainly opportunities here for us to pursue further growth of our businesses.”
He added that online education would likely become another new bright spot in cross-border e-payment.
Last year, Alipay, an affiliate of Alibaba, signed a partnership with Ingenico, paving the way for hundreds of European retailers to accept payment by users of the mobile wallet app.
Chinese shoppers are able to use the mobile wallet to complete their transactions at hundreds of physical stores within Ingenico’s processing platform when travelling abroad.
Ingenico also manages cross-border electronic transactions for Alipay when mainland shoppers purchase foreign goods via e-commerce.
“The industry is so dynamic that you never know when the disruptions can change the business landscape,” Tubb said, adding that Ingenico is taking an open attitude toward future business opportunities in China.
The total value of China’s cross-border e-commerce, including both imports and exports, is expected to hit 7.5 trillion yuan (US$1.1 trillion) in 2017, up 19 per cent from a year ago, according to iiMedia Research.
In the past 10 years, the number of Chinese online transactions processed annually by Ingenico has grown by a factor of 180, a result of soaring cross-border e-commerce in China.
Tubb predicted cross-border e-payment by Chinese people would increase at an annualised rate of 20 per cent to 25 per cent in the coming years.
China’s e-sports businesses, driven by people’s obsession with games, have created a mammoth market for online game developers.
About 560 million people, or 70 per cent of the country’s internet population, play games, according to market intelligence firm Newzoo.
China makes up 57 per cent of the global e-sports audience, according to an IHS Markit research report.
Last year, about 3.5 billion hours of e-sports videos were viewed by Chinese audience and 11.1 billion e-sports streams were delivered to them.
But few mainland people engage in online games across the border.
Alipay is also expanding its mobile payment application service into the United States through partnerships with payment processors First Data and Verifone.
Alibaba is the owner of the South China Morning Post.