It has been an exciting time to be a player in the wild world of cross-border e-commerce as the players are shifting, partnering and combing in new and exciting ways that are both shrinking and expanding the ecosystem. Last week, Stripe and Alipay announced a partnership that will see the San Francisco-based payments processing company add support for Alipay—China’s answer to PayPal—to its checkout. Adding to the excitement, yesterday Ingencio announced its intention to purchase cross-border payments firm GlobalCollect.
With so much action on the field, it can be hard to keep an eye on the bigger picture. MPD CEO Karen Webster spoke with BlueSnap CEO Ralph Danglemaier about the details of the deals, and what the overall headline here ought to be.
The executive verdict: both moves make perfect sense and signal the switch to a new world order when it comes to e-commerce—one where consumers demand the option to buy from any merchant, any where on Earth whenever they want.
Danglemaier noted that in the context of the ever expanding importance of cross-border e-commerce, Ingencio’s move really comes as no surprise.”
"It seems like a no brainer, this company has made significant investment in going from swiping point of sale revenue to non-swiping. They’ve done a deal with Ogone and now they’ve bought GlobalCollect and so this really gives them a big foot in the door for e-commerce and the ability to combine some synergistic businesses that do both actual merchant acquiring and do payments with alternative pay types. I think it’s a very strategic deal, a no-brainer and a great use of cash they have."
Still on the surface, it may seem a surprising move, given that up until now merchant acquiring and processing haven’t been Ingenico’s purpose—and Danglemaier did note it will be interesting to see how it navigates that switch in institutional focus.
However, Danglemaier also notes that he thinks it is a necessary change, as the adoption and demands for enhanced mobile and e-commerce worldwide is moving much faster than people have expected.
Viewed through the global e-commerce lens, Stripe’s pair up with Alipay makes sense as the demand for greater access multiplies. Stripe is building a bridge between a merchant and consumer base that desperately want to interact, but are limited by a lack of easy payment method.
"It’s working both ways, American merchants want to sell into China there’s a big middle class, people are using Alipay and a small number of people are using Visa and MasterCard to buy online. It also validates that the Chinese really want to buy American products and don’t’ really have an opportunity to do that because most merchants don’t offer Alipay as a payment type and closes them out of the Chinese market."
These are no small developments, and according to Danglemaier this transition to a new world of widely accessible cross-border commerce is fundamental a change to how things work as the invention of money itself.
"Back in the day, whenever that may be, I think it was pretty hard if you were a sheep farmer to walk into a castle and give your king a herd of sheep and he gave you a few pieces of paper and you walked back to your house. I think that was a pretty hard thing to do back in the day, and I think that’s the same thing here. We’re talking about on your phone, using any device you have, any currency you have to buy from anyone, anywhere in the world. It’s made the world a lot more efficient and made the world a lot more competitive."
Danglemaier also noted that the recent developments have also validated the efforts that BlueSnap is making as a company to make cross-border payments easier and more accessible.
To listen to the entire podcast from Ralph Danglemaier’s discussion with PYMNTS please click here.