The growth and size of global ecommerce are exceeding all expectations! Estimated to amount to 1 trillion dollars, global ecommerce is expected to grow to $1.86 trillion in size by 2016. The second edition of the Global Payment Summit, one of the most important Payments Events, held in Singapore on June 11th-12th, highlighted the tremendous business opportunities the Asia Pacific region offers for the online payments industry and global ecommerce development. Today, APAC represents one third of all global ecommerce with a growth rate of nearly 50%, while the rest of the world is growing at ~15%.
In a metaphoric nutshell, I would say that what is happening now in Asia is almost like a tidal wave, and to survive we need to know how to ride this emerging wave! In line with Payvision’s main mission – sharing knowledge for the growth of the entire payments ecosystem – I will share with you some of the trends and key discussion topics during the Global Payment Summit in Singapore.
One of the main discussion topics was undoubtedly mobile. The world of tomorrow will be more mobile; the fastest technology ever, m-commerce is a critical aspect of what drives electronic commerce. M-commerce is moving 10x faster than ecommerce. Most Asian consumers seem to be much more excited about mobile payments, Asia being the only region where smartphone penetration will exceed bank account penetration. Portability and convenience are driving m-commerce adoption, and while technology is just a small part of the pie, we need to focus on integrating the technology into the day-to-day life of the consumers.
Mpos plays a critical role today as it takes the interaction between the merchant and the consumer one step further. As Erik Holst-Roness, Chief Strategy Officer at goSwiff, said: “the payment tools we use evolve over time and we may move into wallets and other solutions as we go forward, but no one of these tools will actually be replaced 100%”.
One of the most constructive panels was on regulation. Regulators from Indonesia, Thailand, China and Hong Kong gathered together and had an in-depth discussion with the World Bank on how the regulator is moving forward in order to make payments safer. As Asian markets are extremely different, the World Bank has been working with several countries in the region to assist them in developing their national payment system infrastructure and regulation framework.
Additionally, Raj Kamal from McKinsey explained that cross-border ecommerce is expected to increase by more than 10% globally in a 10-year time frame. Big Asian players such as Rakuten and Alibaba are increasingly realizing that they have consumers outside their home markets interested in purchasing goods online. As Payvision’s VP Business Development for the APAC region, I was invited to speak about cross-border shopping in a borderless ecommerce world. I shared with the audience my insights about this trend in the emerging Asia, using China and ASEAN as references. Chinese online shopping and cross-border ecommerce are on the rise; that’s a fact. B2C and B2B e-shoppers are increasingly breaking out of the confines of national borders to shop in other markets. Volume is growing fast and this affects business models, marketing, investment, and the survival of the established businesses within the online payments arena and cross-border ecommerce ecosystem.