HSBC announced it has become the first foreign bank in China to offer an omni-channel collections service that operates across all major digital channels, in a move to help multinational and domestic companies tap into a market where almost half a billion consumers use their mobile phones to pay for goods and services.
The new solution allows retailers in China to 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. The digital product is also integrated with the existing China UnionPay (CUP) cards network and internet banking interface, making it a comprehensive collection service.
China is the world’s leading mobile payment market, with both urban and rural consumers increasingly relying on smart phones for shopping, playing online games, paying bills, and even managing their finances. In 2016, the value of mobile payments jumped 46% from a year ago to reach RMB157.55 trillion (USD23.8 trillion), according to China’s central bank. Nearly 80% of Chinese smartphone users will be tapping, scanning and swiping to make payments throughout the country by 2021, research consultancy eMarketer estimates1. By comparison, the US will have 31% of users doing so, while Germany will have 23% 1.
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 - recognise the payment preferences of their customers and are now giving them the flexibility to choose how, where and when to pay.”
However, the diversity of digital payment methods in China is also a challenge for retailers, in particular multinational companies new to the market who have to invest significant resources to connect with individual service providers in the absence of a one-stop solution for retail collections.
With this omni-channel collections solution, HSBC not only helps retailers gather various e-wallet payments but also provides them with a consolidated view of their collections from all modes of payments, both traditional and digital. This eliminates the complexity of relying on multiple connections, thus reducing operational costs and building sustainable efficiency into retailers’ collections processes.
“Our initiative in China is part of our global effort to improve our clients’ experience by adding value through digital transformation and innovation. In meeting our client’s evolving needs, our one-stop collections solution can further strengthen our receivables product suite, covering clients’ value chain needs by providing convenience, speed and simplicity,” Kee Joo said.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker