This week, we have seen extensive coverage in the media related to major developments in India, new players entering the Asian market and regulatory eCommerce updates in Europe. Let’s dig in.

Revolut unveils Asian ambitions

Given that the main focus of our previous news coverage was on China, it is only fair to open this updates series with another major announcement regarding the Asian market. More specifically, financial technology players across the region will start facing a new competitor – Revolut.

The digital bank has recently partnered with Tokyo-based eCommerce group Rakuten. The company applied for approval earlier in other Asia-Pacific markets including Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, but Japan granted a license for introducing select online services first. Revolut has also revealed plans to launch in the US and is providing early access to Americans who visit their website, as reports.

Founded in 2015, Revolut has 2.8 million users across 28 markets in Europe.

European Commission’s updated guidance for eCommerce growth

Does the word “geo-blocking” sound familiar? The term refers to practices used by online sellers to restrict online cross-border sales based on nationality, residence or place of establishment.

This week, the European Commission has issued updates for ending unjustified geo-blocking. The initiative aims to help member states and eCommerce businesses to adapt to the new rules which will be enforced across the region as of 3rd December 2018.

Notably, the Commission also sheds light on the circumstances in which online marketplaces will be subject to the geo-blocking rules:

“Online marketplaces, where for example goods or services are sold by third parties, are subject to the provisions of the Geo-blocking Regulation when they act as traders within the meaning of the Regulation,” the guidance said. “In certain cases online marketplaces might not act as traders themselves, but rather in the name of or on behalf of another company that qualifies as a trader. In those cases it is the other company that is subject to the rules of the Regulation, and not the online marketplace directly.”

Should you be interested in learning more about the topic, check this article here.

India insights

Zooming in on Indian territory, we learn that PayPal and Shopify have strengthened their partnership in the country. As a result, PayPal is now available as a payment method for Shopify merchants looking for the convenience of a single account for local and international transactions.

Shopify provides these merchants with access to a platform to help run their eCommerce store, along with access to third- party integrations. At the same time, PayPal aims to enable merchants to boost their business in India and across the globe, according to their official press release.

In other news, digital payments brand Paytm is planning to introduce a facial recognition feature to enable consumers to unlock the payments feature in the mobile wallet platform. The company also reportedly plans to enable payment confirmation via facial recognition, a feature which is already available with Apple Face ID and Apple Pay.

Nearly 9.5 million merchants use Paytm services and the company has already identified devices for installation at a few merchant locations for facial authentication, as reports.

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This week’s statistics at a glance

76% of Gen Z buyers prefer to select stores as shopping destination. These are the recent research findings of Profitect, a prescriptive analytics provider for the retail industry. When asked about the decisive factor in their preference to shop at a particular store over another, 48% of Gen Z respondents mentioned convenient location. Additionally, more than half of respondents involved in the research mentioned that the most convenient method of returning an item they bought online was to go into the store.

Key takeaway: in-store buying experience still plays an important role in the shopping journey, even for this particular customer segment. Against this background, the need for retailers to create a good in-store experience, which also includes the payments factor, is key.

In Europe, mobile accounts for 44% of online transactions. Criteo’s Q2 2018 Global Commerce Review points to Northern Europe among the leaders in mobile shopping, with Sweden, Norway, The United Kingdom and Denmark holding the spotlight.

Furthermore, for retailers who promote their shopping apps, Asia-Pacific reports the highest share of transactions from those apps, followed by just over one-quarter in Europe and 18% in the Americas.

Key takeaway: retailers, do not underestimate the importance of app promotion strategies in driving awareness and adoption.

Should cashless retail stores be banned?

Good question, isn’t it? If you’ve been following the latest technological updates on cashierless concept stores, the Amazon Go/ Hema stories – and also read our previous industry updates – then you will find the idea currently debated in the article below interesting, to say the least. The retail/ payments/ eCommerce technology versus regulation debate reaches new dimensions. Thought-provoking points raised and a great read over the weekend. Enjoy:

Amazon and Walmart are fighting a New Jersey bill that would require stores to accept cash. But do cashless shops really make business sense?

Until next week,

Adriana Screpnic, Content Marketing Specialist, G2A PAY