“We’re focused on supporting our growing global customer base,” stated Scott Salmon, i2c’s general manager of international, in a company press release. “Over the past year, we’ve opened offices in Singapore, London, Dubai — and now Sydney.”
To find out more about i2c’s view of the new markets it’s entering into and the opportunities and challenges they present in the realm of payment technology, PYMNTS caught up with Philip Julian, newly hired head of sales for the Australia/New Zealand corridor — who credits the growing global demand for payment solutions to the fact that “innovation is driving change.”
A recent big change in the Australian market is the turn to digital payments. A March 2015 study bore out that two-thirds of businesses based in the country consider accepting electronic payments as “extremely” or “very” critical.
Julian points to the example of contactless applications demonstrating the speed and effectiveness of technology and observes that “as consumers become more tech savvy, their expectations are changing.”
The recent growth of contactless, multi-currency, multi-function and mobile solutions in Australia and New Zealand seems to fall in line with this observation.
An RFi Group study released in May reveals that two-thirds of Australians are aware of the contactless capabilities of their payment card(s), and 53 percent have made a contactless payment. These statistics, according to NFC World+, put the country at the top of a list ranking contactless awareness and usage rates worldwide.
New Zealand, meanwhile, is seeing its contactless rates rise as well: a 2014 study related to Visa’s payWave usage in the country showed a threefold increase over the previous year.
Since new and advanced technologies like contactless payments are what end consumers in Australia and New Zealand want, that’s what the clients of solutions companies like i2c expect them to provide.
For any outside company that wants to gain ground in Australia, Julian believes that innovation needs to be a “core principle” of its business model. A solutions provider in that region needs to suit the clients’ needs while simultaneously reducing product development risk.
A technology’s reliability and the maturity of its customer service infrastructure “can’t be underestimated,” he adds.
To succeed in the Australian and New Zealand markets, attests Julian, a company needs a flexible platform that allows for payment capability integration into any type of business process or use case that a client may present. In his opinion, the key is to be able to allow customers to “pick and choose functionality to create the commerce experience that meets a specific market requirement.”
When it comes to sharing details about the company’s specific goals — and how it plans to meet them — in Australia and New Zealand, Julian plays it pretty close to the vest for now.
Instead, he says simply: “We are excited about the opportunities in both markets. We want to be the preferred choice for clients when they are looking for a strategic partner in processing and managing their card program. With our global expertise, we are keen to share the best practices we have gained from our successes in other markets.”