On 23-24 January 2019, APSCA will organise Digital Commerce Asia Pacific at the Renaissance Convention Center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The objective of this industry event is to explore which of the two roadmaps now driving retail payments in Asia - fintech or card-based payments - will achieve the greatest success in expanding the e-payments business?
The Question Everyone's Asking
The Asian payments industry is expecting QR codes to redeem mobile payments at the point-of-sale and enable e-payments in new business segments. Financial institutions, fintechs, merchants and even transport operators are aiming to leverage the simplicity and flexibility of QR codes for off-line and online commerce. This excitement is being driven by the adoption and usage of mobile QR code payments in China but can that digital commerce success story be replicated in Asia Pacific?
Payments or Commerce
Contactless payments are faster and more efficient than cash and EMV specifications enable proven security and international interoperability. The payment card market in Asia continues to expand with contactless payment cards offering benefits to both consumers and merchants. But the mobile payments phenomenon in China was driven by digital commerce ecosystems. How can EMV contactless card (or mobile NFC) payments integrate with and leverage digital commerce?
Both mobile QR code payments and contactless payments support the objectives of Asian regulators to expand e-payments by displacing cash for low value transactions. But which is likely to have a greater impact on the adoption of e-payments in Asia? From the perspective of customers, merchants and payment product providers, how will contactless payments fit with mobile QR code payments to enable efficient, frictionless and successful commerce?
Digital Commerce Asia Pacific includes a focused expo of latest solutions for e-payments and digital commerce featuring: emerging technologies for both card-based and fintech payments ecosystems; real-time, mobile QR and contactless payments products; e-payments acceptance solutions for card, contactless and mobile QR; and latest innovations in retail payments and commerce. The exposition will enable payment services providers and technology companies to demonstrate their retail payments and acceptance solutions to delegates from regulators, banks, e-payments companies and retailers.
Mobile Payments (or Commerce) Solved?
For over 10 years the industry has struggled to achieve success with mobile payments with only lacklustre results. Today over 520 million1 mobile QR code payments users in China suggest the solution has been found. Consumers want mobile payments services that work seamlessly across online and off-line commerce including in-app, m-commerce, e-commerce, online P2P, face-to-face P2P, and at any merchant of any size whether or not they have a point-of-sale terminal device.
1 - http://www.ecns.cn/business/2018/02-05/291541.shtml
QR Codes: Converging Online and Off-Line Commerce
Internet companies in China understood that to build digital ecosystems spanning Internet and real-world commerce, QR codes were the common denominator for consumers and their smartphones. Their convergence of online and off-line commerce into integrated digital ecosystems has driven the success of QR code mobile payments in China. But can this success be replicated with consumers outside China? The QR code initiatives in other Asian markets will be the first test.
No Push without Pull?
Asia’s mobile QR code payments excitement is focused on push payments where customers scan a merchant-presented QR code. Despite marketing that customers control their own payments, they are not quick or convenient. China’s success with QR codes on mobile was driven by consumer-presented QR and pull payments which approach the ease-of-use and speed of mobile NFC payments. Will mobile QR code payments fly in Asia with only half the customer proposition?
Mobile Payments without Mobile Commerce?
Before the China success story mobile payments were labeled as a solution looking for a problem. Industry experts talked about integrating mobile payments with loyalty to incent customers to use their mobile phones at the POS. But most loyalty initiatives are restricted “walled gardens”. In China the Internet companies are offering incentives to customers by integrating mobile payments with digital ecosystems that are larger than Amazon. Is this the only solution for mobile payments?
Success with Contactless Payments
Adoption and usage of EMV contactless payment cards is creating convenience for consumers and business efficiencies for merchants. They are expanding e-payments by displacing cash for low value transactions. EMV contactless cards are faster and easier to use than QR code mobile payments and their acceptance in public transport ticketing could expand the opportunity still further. But will they only be successful in markets where card payments are mature?
What Next for Mobile NFC Payments?
Mobile NFC payments look disappointing so far. In markets where customers enthusiastically adopt EMV contactless cards they remain ambivalent about the “Pays” and HCE-based mobile apps are less popular. Mobile NFC is an efficient payment method at the point-of-sale but, unlike QR codes, has not been successfully implemented for P2P transactions and does not support online commerce. Is there a long-term future for mobile NFC payments?
Avoiding Fragmentation in Mobile Payments
The homogeneity of interoperable EMV mobile NFC payments avoids fragmentation for merchants leaving customers to select products based on service. If all banks and fintech companies in Asia launch mobile QR code payments products the resulting fragmentation could create obstacles for merchants and customers. Interoperable QR code payments are essential, even for companies in China. How do we manage the fragmentation and competition that looks likely to emerge?
APSCA is inviting regulators, national payments networks, international payment systems, banks, fintech companies, payment services providers, merchants and leading payments solutions providers to attend Digital Commerce Asia Pacific. Invitations will be sent through national banking associations, national payments networks and industry associations. APSCA expects over 250 delegates from at least 10 markets in Asia Pacific to attend the event.
Digital Commerce Asia Pacific is a new and groundbreaking industry event focused on the future of payments in Asia and specifically, the question that all consumer payments professionals are asking today; which of the two approaches to retail payments now attracting attention in Asia - fintech or card-based payments - will achieve the greatest success in expanding the e-payments business? All payments professionals whose business depends on driving e-payments adoption and expanding e-payments acceptance should attend.