China’s $27 trillion payment market is becoming more open to international business than ever before, first approving American Express, then PayPal and now Mastercard. The real testament to Mastercard’s uptake will be their value proposition to consumers and businesses as they compete with well-established domestic players in the card and mobile payments space, such as UnionPay, WeChat pay and Alipay. If successful, an unprecedented facility for cross-border payments will be possible for Chinese consumers, and for international consumers to purchase directly with merchants in China.
The question of commercial profitability remains a looming unknown, whilst there is certainly an appetite, it is unclear how each US card company will deliver a unique solution and whether they will compete in the growing mobile payments sector which holds 60% of the market. This market also does not go without risk, relying on close cooperation and compliance with authorities in the Chinese government.
Keeping the compliance front and centre and developing a stringent KYC process will be an enormous challenge for international payment firms entering China. Data Zoo provides one of the most comprehensive in-country 3+3 solutions plus PEPs and Sanctions screening. This means that the entire transaction workflow ensures personally identifiable information does not leave China. Scanning, OCR and facial matching of the National ID card against a selfie is also possible to further strengthen trust between the consumer and payment platform. Timing has never been more important to go above and beyond compliance requirements in China.