Wirecard AG and International Payment Solutions (Shanghai) Limited ("IPS") today announced a strategic alliance to offer joint payment and risk management services for the European and Chinese eCommerce market.
IPS was the first payment company providing international credit card online real time payment processing services in China.
The alliance between Wirecard and IPS extends Wirecard's coverage of China's domestic payment schemes and substantially broadens Wirecard's service offering for the Asian market. In parallel, IPS' China-based enterprise customers gain access to all major European domestic payment and risk-management schemes.
"With China's leading businesses expanding internationally, we experience an increasing demand for the acceptance of European domestic payment schemes," said Sunny Cheung, Deputy CEO of IPS. "The alliance allows us to leverage Wirecard's leading position in the European Internet payment market and to offer our clients local acquiring and banking services for their European businesses."
"Our strategic alliance combines the unique geographical strengths of both companies," said Rüdiger Trautmann, COO of Wirecard AG. "Driven by a rapidly growing economy, more than 2.5 million Chinese tourists traveled to Europe in 2007, spending an average USD 5,000 per visit. The ability to accept payments from Chinese consumers through their payment method of choice is a significant competitive advantage not only for our customers in the travel industry."
Home to what is the largest online population in the world at over 253 million users(1), China is a market full of potential not only for domestic ecommerce sites, but increasingly for international retailers and travel sites alike. Although credit card penetration was up by 82% in 2007, only a small percentage of China's citizens hold a credit card(2). Ecommerce sites seeking broad access to the Chinese market are thus required to accept cash payments and to integrate with more than 20 different financial institutions individually in order to be able to accept China's 1.5 billion domestic debit cards in circulation.
In parallel to the extraordinary growth of China's ecommerce market, Chinese businesses are increasingly targeting overseas customers directly over the Internet. Whether retailers, airlines or travel agents an ever growing number of Chinese companies is facing the complexities of global payment acceptance and risk management.