The fintech landscape offers a multitude of opportunities for smart, forward-thinking companies to expand their customer base and connect with buyers. Find more about the latest partnership renewals, industry players’ strategies and expansion plans in our international weekly news roundup.

The Starbucks experience in China

Alibaba and Starbucks have expanded their longstanding partnership to deliver the “Starbucks Experience” to China’s consumers anywhere, anytime. What does this mean?

Starbucks will pilot delivery services across key businesses within the Alibaba ecosystem as of September this year. The company will also establish “Starbucks Delivery Kitchens” for delivery order fulfillment and integrate multiple platforms to co-create a virtual Starbucks store, enabling a customized online Starbucks Experience for Chinese customers.

Relying on their retail and technology strengths, Starbucks and Alibaba continue to be at the forefront of combining digital and physical retail to create value-added services for their customers.

mBank, Commerzbank to launch pan-European Challenger Bank

Kopernik (Copernicus) is a new pan-European challenger bank that Polish bank mBank aims to launch, with heavy involvement from Commerzbank, one of its main shareholders.

Kopernik will initially be made available in Germany, as Banking Fintech reports and “will be based on the technology developed and used by mBank in Poland – including its channels and core banking system”. As reported in 2017, mBank started to license its mobile and online banking system to other financial institutions outside Poland. The first on the list is the French La Banque Postale.

Google Pay now available in Croatia

Google Pay has announced that Croatian Android users can now use Google’s mobile payments platform. Croatia is the third Central European nation to get Google Pay support, after the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Google is making the service available in cooperation with PBZ and it will be supported by PBZ online banking and the Visa Inspire card. Plans to cooperate with other Croatian banks are also underway. Earlier this year, Google Pay became available in Germany, with the support of 4 local banks.

India is considering asking eCommerce companies to store customer data locally

India might become the next country to ask internet companies and social media companies to store users’ data locally. The plan is part of an undated Draft National Policy document mentioned by Reuters that is mainly aimed at streamlining regulation of the country’s eCommerce sector.

As Reuters reports, “data generated by users in India from various sources including e-commerce platforms, social media, search engines etc. would have to be stored exclusively in India, the draft said, adding companies could be given time to adjust before localization becomes mandatory”.

Amazon – a threat to 46% of Nordic online retailers

One of the key topics covered by a recent “Cutting Through the Noise” report by eTail Nordic is around the Amazon move to enter the Nordics market. When asked about potential ways that such a move will impact their businesses, 46% online retailers involved in the study mentioned the company as a threat, while over a quarter consider Amazon entering the market as an opportunity.

Other key findings from the same report include:

  • when asked about the best way to personalize their eCommerce website experience, 37% of directors of eCommerce mentioned they use an algorithm-based solution which takes into account users’ past behavior,
    while 22% use real time personalization based on individual profiles.
  • over 2/3 of respondents make at least 30% of their online sales via mobile devices
  • the biggest challenges for online retailers in terms of improving data-analysis capabilities are:  translating data into actionable insights (41%), followed by problems developing data to include predictive analytics (39%) and large volumes of data (34%)

Statistics of the week

In 2017, the cross-border eCommerce market in China reached USD 220 billion, as mentioned by a study by consulting agency Westwin.

The buying preference of Chinese overseas tourists indicates a high level of similarity to the country’s cross-border shoppers. Cosmetics category is the most popular one, followed by apparel & footwear, food, electronic products and pharmaceutical products. In terms of payment methods used, bank cards were the favorite option,  due to the safety concerns. Alipay was selected by 69% to complete orders, followed by cash (50%) and WeChat Pay (46%).

Previous international news stories:

Top 5 International News Stories of the Week

Consumer Payment Preferences and Technological Updates