Ecommerce opportunity is knocking in south-east Asia

China led the way as south-east Asia became the world’s biggest ecommerce marketplace. The opportunities are immense and it is a gold rush where the mother lode will never run out, but understanding your market and working with regional experts is key to a successful strategy, as PaySec’s Richard Barry explains.

Richard Barry, CEO, PaySec

China is already the world’s biggest ecommerce marketplace and it is growing by a third year-on-year.

There are 365 million Chinese online shoppers and collectively they spent close to $600 billion (£411 billion) in 2015. A digital revolution has opened up the Asian market and that, combined with an expanding middle class with disposable income, has led to an explosion in Asian e-commerce. While China leads the way, others will follow in its slipstream. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country with 250 million people and is already exhibiting similar traits.

To stake your claim in these territories you need to understand not only the marketplace, but the culture and regulatory frameworks that differ greatly from those in Europe and America. What we say and how we say it, and what we sell and how we sell it, is not just about translating language but about translating your approach..

And it is not just products and marketing where there are differences. Payment methods are also varied as the region transitions from physical to digital transactions. This means there is a much wider range of solutions available in Asia. Traditionally when people transact in Asia cash is king. We have to take money out of the physical environment and put it in the digital environment. The solutions are many and varied and businesses must cater for all of them to be successful.

The land grab for the Asian market is happening now and consumers are already transacting. Every day businesses hesitate to get involved is a day where their competitors can gain an advantage. A considered strategy is vital and working with companies that know the region is key, but it is never too early to decide you need to do it.

Discover payment solutions for China and south-east Asia at



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