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Going Global: Why Cross-Border Payments Technologies are Crucial for Success

by uma
Editorial & Advertiser disclosure


Eva Zhang, CEO, Alipay (UK)

E-commerce has boomed over the past couple of decades and as a result, so too have the systems that facilitatecross-border payments and support international trade. In addition, the marketing mechanisms needed to broaden merchants’ reach and access to new markets have evolved alongside all this. This is whatprovides consumers access to products from all over the world through online shopping. When both elements are combined, merchants have a powerful tool that can beutilisedto bolster their presence in the market on an international scale.

One particular region stands out for its rapid e-commerce growth: Southeast Asia. E-commerce sales in are set to hit $89.67 billion in 2022, making its annual growth the highest in the world at 20.6%.As a result of the area’s young, ever-more-digitally able and middle class profile, mobile wallets have become extremely favourable among consumers, with research from Juniper and Boku showingthat mobile wallet usage is expected to shoot upwards by 311% by 2025. This will account for 440 million users across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. Combining this appetite for e-commerce and a voracious mobile wallet usage with a region known for its high consumption of British brands, UK businesses have a lot to gain with this giant digital market at their disposal. Nevertheless, entering this region and setting up digital revenue streams is not easily done and requires a tactical approach. 

Adapting payments methods to local markets

Although reliable and secure payments technology is crucial, this alone won’t go the distance in winning the trust of consumers from a different region. Merchants and SMEs need to be able to provide shoppers with their preferred payment mechanisms – methods that are familiar and which are already trusted. Preference in payment method varies geographically, and you can’t expect a consumer base to feel comfortable with typing in their card details when they’ve been paying via QR codes and digital wallets for over a decade. 

In this way, partnering with the right payments provider with the ability to offer payment methods that are tailored to the local region is key to unlocking customer loyalty. Merchants and brands need to be able to enter the market alongside recognisable, trusted and convenient names and payment methods if they are to succeed and gain momentum with Asian consumers. 

Tailoring marketing approaches

Similarly, to payments, marketing tactics and strategies vary greatly with geography, and in order to successfully integrate into the Asian market, businesses will need to make offerings that the local consumer base favours and is comfortable with. For instance, consumers in Asia have a greater tendency to engage with promotions like discount codes and personalised ads than other regions, so the ability to tailor offerings to these preferences will be a key advantage in targeting this market. 

What’s more, these marketing practices prove even more valuable as they provide the opportunity to analyse customer behaviour. Certain platforms allow businesses to analyse their customer profiles by mapping customers’ preferences through thousands of user tags which can define details such as shopping history, consumption behaviour and interests. This gives the merchant the ability to carry out more precisely targeted marketing campaigns specific to the local market. 

One-stop integration

On the side of the merchant, operating with a digitally integrated offering is also a sizeable advantage. This means that a single solution and the same QR code is used across all the of the merchant’s payment methods, both in-store and digitally, providing them with a streamlined offering that gives the same simple payment experience for the customer, no matter where they are. This simplifies the payments side of business operations and provides a more streamlined entry to market. 

However, it remains important for merchants to partner with a provider that offers a locally tailored approach to integrated payments. Customers must be presented with omnichannel digital solutions, such as QR codes, with which they are familiar, otherwise businesses risk being rejected by their own consumer base. 

Surviving the incoming storm 

It’s no secret that the UK economy is facing challenges of its own, so it is therefore vital that merchants gain access to different countries and regions across the globe. Ideally, they should target those where the growthof e-commerce is happening the fastest. When equipped with strong cross-border payment technology, they can tap into adifferent, digitally-able international consumer base.

The key to success, though,is having an in-depth understanding of local market nuances, empowering businesses to navigate differing preferences and consumer tendencies. For this reason, selecting a partner that can guide you through these complexities is vital to rooting your business in this highly lucrative region.

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