Alipay hits 500 million registered users
According to the merchant division's general manager, Wang Gang, Alipay has currently more than 500 million registered users (they were “only” 300 million in March 2010). The company operates 7 million transactions a day that account for 2 billion Yuan (approximately $300 million).
Alipay wants to expand overseas
Paypal targets China
Alipay’s international intentions are necessary since its major international competitor, PayPal, has had a rapid growth in China’s online payment market during the first half of this year (nearly 88%).
The battle between Alipay and Paypal will be more and more fierce in the coming years. Even if Alipay has an advantage in China, Paypal can count on its partnership with Chinese company UnionPay, giving customers an electronic payment solution to buy online.
With the development of e-business, many different payment systems have emerged for online merchants.
E-commerce payment systems include traditional credit/debit/charge cards but also new technologies such as digital wallets, e-cash, mobile payment and e-checks.
Alipay and Paypal lead worldwide PSP market
Another form of payment system is allowing a third-party company to complete the online transaction for the user. These companies are called Payment Service Providers (PSP). They provide an easy, safe and secure way for individuals and businesses to make and receive payments on the Internet.
The two major 3rd-party online payment platforms in the world are AliPay (part of Alibaba's group - more than 300 million registered users) and PayPal (part of eBay's group - more than 220 million registered users).
Let's have a look at the top online payment platforms used in the three following North Asian countries: China, Japan, and South Korea.
Online payment platforms in China
Chinese online third-party payment market is led by Alipay and Tenpay which both account for more than 70% of all electronic payments in China (credit/debit cards included) in 2010 Q1 according to iResearch.
Here is a list of the most popular online third-party payment platforms used in China.
Alipay is the leading third-party online payment platform in the world. As of March 2010, it had more than 300 million registered users. The platform is mainly used for C2C (taobao.com) and B2B (alibaba.com) transaction payment as well as online game, digital content, and air tickets.
TenPay is an online payment solution offering both a solution for companies looking to install an online payment system as well as a payment solution powering a variety of Tencent’s offerings such as PaiPai (online trading platform) and Qzone (SNS).
99Bill is a Shanghai-based independent third-party payment service provider mainly used for C2C, B2C, B2B, donation, discount bond, and mobile phone recharge transaction payment.
Headquartered in Shanghai, International Payment Solutions (iPS) is one of the pioneers in the third-party payment industry in China.
YeePay is a Beijing-based e-payment service provider based in Beijing enabling users to make and receive payments over the Internet, mobile and telephone, especially for e-ticket, tourist, and digital content payment.
PayEase is mainly used for B2C, B2B, and public bill (mobile phone recharge, Internet access fee, exam entry fee, and donation).
Paypal is used as C2C payment service mostly on ebay and eachnet.com.
It isn't very popular in China, maybe due to local restrictions: indeed, in China PayPal offers two kinds of accounts: PayPal.com accounts, for sending and receiving money to/from other PayPal.com accounts and PayPal.cn accounts, for sending and receiving money to/from other PayPal.cn accounts.
All non-Chinese accounts are PayPal.com accounts, so these accounts may be used to send money internationally.
However, it's impossible to send money between PayPal.cn accounts and PayPal.com accounts, so PayPal.cn accounts are effectively unable to make international payments. For PayPal.cn, the only supported currency is the Chinese Yuan (Renminbi).
Regarding the usage of credit cards, Chinese mainly trust three actors, namely China UnionPay (national bankcard association in China), ChinaPay and Chinabank.
Online payment platforms in Japan
Japanese businesses and individuals usually use bank transfer and credit card payment methods when they shop online. However, online merchants in Japan also offer third-party payment platforms such as PayPal and Yahoo! Easy Payment.
Yahoo! Easy Payment is an online payment service mainly used on Yahoo! Japan Auction.
Online payment platforms in South Korea
In addition to foreign third-party online payment platforms like Alipay and PayPal, KOPS (KOTRA Online Payment System) is rather popular among South Korean businesses, especially among B2B exporters.
The success of KOPS can be explained by two factors: its fees are very competitive compared to Alipay and PayPal, and KOPS membership grants significant discount for DHL and EMS shipping.
Do you know other popular online payment platforms used in these countries?