Stripe launches in HK to lift e-commerce

Computerworld Hong Kong

Online payment solution provider Stripe has launched services in Hong Kong, and announced the formation of new global partnerships with Alipay and WeChat Pay.

The launch will provide Hong Kong online businesses with access to Stripe's entire portfolio, including online marketplace platform Stripe Connect, fraud blocking platform Radar and analytics platform Sigma.

With the local launch, Stripe is rolling out US dollar settlements in Hong Kong to allow businesses to accept payments in US dollars without currency conversion into US dollar denominated bank accounts.

The partnerships with Alipay and WeChat Pay will meanwhile allow Stripe customers around the world to accept Alipay and WeChat Pay on their websites by simply activating support for the platforms from their online dashboards.

The Alipay integration will also support recurring payments for subscription-based services. Alipay one-time payments are available to businesses worldwide, but recurring payments and WeChat payments are initially launching in private beta.

Stripe has been testing services in Hong Kong for a year prior to the launch, and has already attracted two-thirds of venture-backed startups in the market as customers. These include online fashion company Grana, fashion and lifestyle company HBX, as well as travel technology startups Tink Labs and Klook.

Besides Alipay and WeChat Pay, Stripe supports all major credit and debit cards, bitcoin and mobile payment technologies including Apple Pay and Android Pay.

“Hong Kong has long been a launchpad for thousands of globally-minded Asian entrepreneurs and a gateway to Asia for businesses around the world,” Stripe president and co-founder John Collison said.

He noted that despite Hong Kong's large proportion of connected consumers only around 4% of consumer spending happens online, but a new wave of internet-first retail businesses are emerging to change this, and Stripe intends to help support these companies.

“Whether in the Eastern or Western hemisphere, we’re focused on arming more businesses with the tools and infrastructure they need to thrive in the modern economy,” Collison said.

US-based Stripe launched in 2011, and has attracted around $450 million in funding to date from investors includeing Sequoia Capital, Visa, American Express, Peter Thiel and Elon Musk.

First published in Computerworld Hong Kong

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