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Payments technology company Stripe is expanding its presence in Asia as it plans to bring Stripe Terminal — its product designed for in-store payment acceptance that’s available in the US — to the region, per the South China Morning Post.
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It’s already launched its online services in markets including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia — in addition to opening an engineering hub in Singapore — and it appears to be taking a serious interest in the market.
This may be because it recognizes the significant potential for payments in Asia: CFO William Gaybrick said at a conference that "Asia is leading the way in payments," thanks to the region’s relatively developed markets, increasing number of customers online, and new payment methods, according to the South China Morning Post.
Here’s what it means: Stripe is likely interested in competing for Asia-Pacific’s (APAC’s) tremendous e-commerce volume, but its in-store offering could be key to its overall success in the region.
- APAC’s e-commerce volume is forecast to grow from $1.9 trillion in 2019 to $3.2 trillion by 2024, which has clearly caught Stripe’s attention. Capturing even a fraction of this volume would propel Stripe’s business to new heights, and its suite of solutions, including tools for marketplaces, robust data analysis products, and other payments offerings, may help it do so. But, it’ll have to contend with payments players throughout APAC like Alipay, Grab, Paytm, and more, that are seeking the same opportunity.
- Bringing Stripe Terminal to Asia gives Stripe access to even greater volume and could convince more merchants to work with it. Retail sales in APAC are projected to surpass $3 trillion by 2021, meaning that there’s tremendous retail volume that still occurs offline in the region. Stripe Terminal, which offers in-store point-of-sale (POS) solutions, gives Stripe the ability to access this volume in addition to e-commerce sales. And offering Terminal in Asia will allow Stripe to provide merchants with payments solutions that can be used across channels and can help them manage their businesses in one place, which could prove attractive to merchants and boost Stripe’s popularity.
The bigger picture: APAC is an enticing opportunity for Stripe, but establishing itself in several markets where it will face different competitors and landscapes may prove difficult.
APAC countries’ payments ecosystems vary significantly, with markets ranging from China’s near-duopoly to India’s still developing hierarchy.Stripe would do well to consider each APAC market’s specific needs and the opportunities available for it.
Otherwise, it could find itself investing heavily in a market like China where it may have trouble securing significant volume if it can’t find a way to work alongside industry giants like Alipay and WeChat Pay.
It’ll also want to identify markets where the regulatory environment is favorable, as governments in some countries like India have introduced regulations that have complicated operations for multinational companies.
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