In Depth

WePay’s Cross-Border Payments Strategy

When Google tapped WePay to tackle its mobile-commerce payments problem, it didn’t just give merchants an easy way to use its two-tap instant Buy system, it helped gave them an easy way to do business cross-border and gave birth to an interesting partnership.

Google originally approached InvoiceASAP,  mobile invoicing and payments platform, so that it could make Google Wallet available to InvoiceASAP’s 200,000 small business customers. That’s where it first met up with WePay, which provides payments processing for InvoiceASAP. Through a partnership with Google and WePay and InvoiceASAP, Google Wallet was able to integrate the payments processor. Because WePay is now integrated into Google Wallet’s Instant Buy API, it lets users check out with only two clicks on PCs and mobile devices, and without exposing sensitive information to third parties.

WePay CEO Bill Clerico explained how the integration process benefited both parties.

“Before WePay integrated Google Instant Buy, each merchant would have to go to Google and one by one sign up through the integration and then plug that into the payment processor,” Clerico said in an interview with MPD CEO Karen Webster. “There’s just no way 200,000 small businesses would each do that. One of the exciting things about integration is the amount of scale we can give and bring it immediately bring it to 200,000 small businesses. …It’s a good example of why working with a payments company is a smart play for Google in order to kind of rapidly increase adoption of Google Instant Buy.”

 After all, increasing adoption means more consumers using the service and more merchants able to take advantage of the platform. Since WePay enables buyers from all around the world, that can help enable its overall global commerce share. That means more cross-border payments.

As the partnership continues WePay’s ability to support its sellers in the U.S. and Canada (where WePay is currently available), and accommodate buyers from anywhere, the payments company has continued to focus its efforts on enabling global commerce through cross-border payments. In terms of continuing its efforts in the cross-border space, Clerico said it remains a focus because of the enhanced benefits to its customers in being able to reach a larger audience.

“One of the things about marketplaces is that they are sort of naturally global. They are not constrained to specific markets. So being able to power sellers all around the world and allowing marketplaces to serve to sellers all over the world is definitely very important to our customers and therefore to us,” said Clerico in an interview with Webster.  

International continues to be a big buzzword at WePay as Clerico said it continues to be a major theme for the payments company. That will play a key role in WePay as it expands its role in the global marketplace — which also means keeping its customers secure from cyberthreats. But like most payments processors, WePay already is able to shield its customer from fraud payments through its branded fraud and risk management built-in capability.

“We want to help our marketplace partners get global as quickly as possible. And not just allowing them to move money internationally, but also protecting them from fraud risk internationally,” Clerico said. “So there’s a lot of work that we’re doing and not in international payments, but underwriting fraud the fraud experience internationally as well. That’s a really high key theme of the year.”

With all the buzz about mobile payments and mobile wallets — particularly in an Apple Pay world — that’s where Clerico said players like Google, which have struggled to gain traction with Google Wallet, need payments providers like WePay to gain wider marketplace distribution. And that means a greater chance at capturing cross-border commerce.


A Global Scope Of Cross-Border Payments Volume


That’s one phrase that could be used to describe today’s e-commerce world that’s captured a growing share cross-border trading. Increasingly, when companies report their quarterly financial earnings, cross-border metrics are listed toward the top highlights. Being a major e-commerce company means connecting with consumers globally — whether it be online or through mobile — and it means ensuring a company is able to form relationships with countries with commerce regulations outside of what’s followed domestically.

As pointed out in a recent interview between PayPal’s GM of Retail, Brad Brodigan, and Webster, enabling merchants to become cross-border retailers opens up an entirely new world of revenue for companies, big or small. PayPal has made headway in the cross-border payments space, giving consumers the ability to use PayPal to buy from any store anywhere.

“Giving merchants the ability to offer services like credit, business consulting, helping them take advantage of cross-border trade – all these things come together to help retailers grow their business. Transactional credit has proven to do that. Cross-border has proven to do that,” he said.

 According to stats provided by PayPal and Nielsen research, the number of online shoppers who will make an international purchase in the next five years will increase by 38 percent during that timeframe. The amount spent on international purchases is expected to grow by 200 percent.

No wonder cross-border payment volume is starting to matter more than ever. To better understand the growth rate, take a look at some stats gathered from industry. A PayPal report estimates that by 2018, about 130 million shoppers will be spending over $300 billion a year across the border, up from $105 billion in 2013. PayPal alone says it has about 2,000 cross-border transactions per minute.

“The reality is pretty much nothing in a store is locally produced, so 99 percent of what you’re buying is already a cross-border transaction. We’re cutting out the middle-man,” said Anuj Nayar, senior director of global initiatives at PayPal.

Overall, when looking at cross-border payment volume and e-commerce trends, here’s what the data says:


Cross-border e-commerce and mobile shopping payment volume five-year growth trends: 2013-2018

​Cross-border shopping population:
2013 total: 93.7 million  |  2013 mobile: 46.3 million
2018 total: 130 million  |  2018 mobile: 72.6 million
Percentage change: 38%  |  Percent change: 15%
Cross-Border e-commerce shopping volume:
2013 total: $105 billion  |  2013 mobile: $36.4 billion
2018 total: $36.4 billion  |  2018 mobile: $106 billion
Percentage change: 200%  |  Percentage change: 291%
Most popular oversees e-commerce shopping:
U.S.: 45 percent
U.K.: 37 percent
People’s Republic of China: 26 percent
Hong Kong: 25 percent
Canada: 18 percent
Australia: 16 percent
Germany: 14 percent
(Source: PayPal)
Cross-border shoppers spending projections by 2018 (USD):
U.S.: $80.2 billion
U.K.: $16.8 billion
Brazil: $6.3 billion
Germany: $12.4 billion
China: $160 billion
Australia: $12.8 billion
When comparing those figures for payment volume to cross-border consumer money transfers, the percentage of change is significantly less from year to year.
Year (YOY percent change)
2007:  $393.4 B (18.8%)
2008: $444.6 B (13%)
2009: $413.3 B (-7%)
2010: $443.7 B (7.4%)
2011: $490.2 B (10.5%)
2012: $505.6 B (3.1%)
2013: $525.6 (4%)
2014: $553.9 (5.4%)
2015 (est.): $586.1 (5.8%)
2016 (est.): $622.4 (6.2%)
(Source: Aite Group research)



The PYMNTS Cross-Border Merchant Friction Index analyzes the key friction points experienced by consumers browsing, shopping and paying for purchases on international eCommerce sites. PYMNTS examined the checkout processes of 266 B2B and B2C eCommerce sites across 12 industries and operating from locations across Europe and the United States to provide a comprehensive overview of their checkout offerings.

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