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Latipay's China trial may aid NZ exporters

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 15/05/2016 Sophie Boot

Latipay says New Zealand exporters stand to benefit from a trial that integrates its payment platform for Chinese consumers with Chinese e-wallet platforms Alibaba and WeChat.

Auckland-based Latipay's agreements with the two Chinese sites will allow Chinese customers to pay for New Zealand products in yuan while New Zealand sellers are paid in kiwi dollars.

The company will begin beta-testing a button today which allows customers to click to pay in yuan via their chosen mobile payment platform or Chinese bank rather than using a credit card.

It's a vital step to facilitate more sales between Chinese consumers and local businesses, chief executive Leigh Flounders says.

Only a quarter of China's population has a credit card and cards are used for just 12 per cent of online purchases in China.

Instead, mobile payment platforms such as Alibaba's AliPay, and WeChat's Tencent, are used for 40 per cent of China's online transactions.

"It's critical for New Zealand businesses to understand there is no point offering a credit card facility to pay for your goods and services for Chinese consumers who want to interact with you but aren't carrying that credit card," Mr Flounders said.

"You explain this to exporters or education providers in New Zealand and they get it immediately, because there is so much dissatisfaction at a merchant level, it's so frustrating for them.

"It's solving a problem and opening up a market which is just dying to interact. For New Zealand merchants, it's about ensuring those Chinese payers can pay in their currency of choice, but also their payment platform of choice."

The platform is targeted at exporters, tourism and education businesses, due to Chinese compliance rules.

It has just surpassed 800 registered and verified users, with merchants from those at the top end of the small-to-medium enterprise space to sole traders, Mr Flounders said.

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