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CARDS & PAYMENTS | Staff Reporter, China

HSBC unveils new one-stop mobile collections service in China

Chinese retailers can now collect payments from customers with e-wallets.

HSBC became the first foreign bank in China to offer an omni-channel collections service that allows retailers in China to collect payments from customers who are using popular e-wallets such as Alipay, WeChat Pay, Apple Pay, and UnionPay. The new service operates across all major digital channels and can be applied at e-commerce websites, social media channels, and in-store transactions. It is also integrated with the existing China UnionPay (CUP) cards network and internet banking interface.

The launch of the comprehensive collection service in China is 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. With both urban and rural consumers increasingly relying on smartphones for shopping, playing online games, paying bills, and even managing their finances, China is the world’s leading mobile payment market. In 2016, the value of mobile payments jumped 46% from a year ago to reach RMB157.55t (US$23.8t), 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 estimates. By comparison, the US will have 31% of users doing so, whilst Germany will have 23%.

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.

In China, HSBC is committed to developments in the digital space, to meet its clients’ changing business requirements. Recently, HSBC China joined the Internet Bank Payment System (IBPS), a domestic real-time payment system that will provide corporate and individual customers with an efficient and convenient channel for small-value payments.

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