Chinese mCommerce races to Australia
Mobile Commerce (mCommerce) is exploding in popularity and may soon overtake PC as the most popular way to shop online globally. MCommerce effectively replaces the need for a shopper to carry cash or a credit card. With a simple scan of their phone or a click online, the transaction is done.
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In 2016, mobile payments in China are expected to sky rocket to ¥11.8 trillion yuan, up from ¥8.1 trillion in 2015 according to iResearch China. Alibaba’s ‘Alipay’ features as the leading player in the mobile payment industry, with Tencent’s ‘WeChat’ hot on their heels. These apps not only function as a payment gateway to purchase goods online/offline, they also help you pay for utilities, transfer funds, manage your wealth, order a taxi, book a hotel and more.
In China, Chinese consumers prefer to use third party mobile payment providers as they are considered safer and more convenient than credit cards. Over the past few years Chinese consumers have developed a deep affinity with mCommerce, highlighting the need to better cater to their payment preferences in order to make the most out of the so called “Asian Century”.
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Both WeChat Wallet and Alipay have their sights on expanding to Australia. What makes Australia so attractive is the record numbers of Chinese tourists travelling to Australia with 1,024,000 in 2015 according to Tourism Australia. Chinese tourists featured as Australia’s largest market for total expenditure with $8.3 billion spent in 2015, up from $5.7 billion in 2014. It is estimated that by 2020, Chinese tourist expenditure will amount to $13 billion. With enormous amounts of money being taken overseas, WeChat, Alipay and others want integrate their payment platforms into Australian businesses to better cater to Chinese payment preferences.
Notorious shoppers known as ‘daigou’, individuals who operate as a trusted purchasers of Australian products for close family and friends back home in China, are powerful buyers whose mobile payment preference has not been met effectively in Australia. Retail consultants say that there are up to 40,000 daigou currently operating in Australia. Each daigou usually caters to up to 100s, if not 1000s of friends and family in China. Daigou are being seen as a loophole for Australian business to indirectly access China’s highly regulated market, highlighting the need for a mobile payment solution to cater to their payment preferences.
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The Chinese government has been trying to crackdown on the amount of money being sent overseas, recently introducing various restrictions impacting mainly Chinese tourists and daigou. Chinese are now are only able to exchange the equivalent of US$50,000 in cash to bring to Australia and will only able to withdraw US$22,000 from foreign ATMs using their China Union Pay cards per year.
UBS China economist Wang Tao says that the Chinese government’s main concern is capital outflow getting out of control, tightening domestic liquidity, sharply depreciating the yuan and leading to market instability. With restrictions placed on cash withdrawals and few businesses supporting Chinese credit cards or mobile payment, this creates difficulties for big spending Chinese tourists and daigou.
What lies ahead in the future?
Despite the limited availability of Chinese mobile payment gateways in Australia, new player in the Australian market ‘Dinpay’ has come up with a Chinese payment solution for Australian businesses. Dinpay has integrated multiple payment methods such as China Union Pay, WeChat Wallet, Alipay, JCB, China direct banking and more for both online and offline payments. Dinpay has now given Australian businesses the ability to transact with Chinese shoppers using their preferred mCommerce methods and get paid in AUD in real time.
Author Keven Bennett