To facilitate mobile transactions by Chinese tourists, Annie Guo launched Silkpay. She explains her business model to leaders League.
Leaders League: How was Silkpay born?
Annie Guo: The idea of Silkpay came to me during a holiday in China with my family in 2015. When I got off the plane, the taxi refused to take cash as payment. He only accepted Alipay: Alibaba's online payment solution. In a few years, mobile payment had become ultra-dominant in China. So I decided to set up a system allowing Chinese tourists to use their preferred means of payment abroad. Some 2.5 million Chinese visited France in 2018, and between 10 and 15 million Europe, accounting for a spend of 40 billion euros. In 2016, we established a partnership with Alipay and with its competitor WeChat Pay to offer solutions to European merchants, in stores but also on their websites, so they could accept these types of payments from Chinese tourists.
How do you see the evolution of payment in the coming years? And what role will Chinese companies play in it?
In China, just as in Europe and the United States, everything is pointing towards to a cashless society in the near future. Mobile payment is one of the possible solutions, one that is more economical and ecological. The potential for development is enormous, especially in a country like France where 80% of payments are made by debit/credit card. Mobile payments and fintech are undeniably being led by Chinese companies.
What are your plans for Silkpay?
Our first goal is to increase the number of businesses who accept mobile payment by diversifying the accepted portfolios. We also want to support the development of French online payment services such as Paylib or Lyf Pay and develop partnerships to allow French tourists and expatriates in China to pay with their smartphones. Finally, we are working towards obtaining a European payment license which will allow us to increase our independence.
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