Asia Pacific

The Region

In April 2018, the IMF called Asia “the main engine of the world’s economy”. The region, it explained, contributed more than 60% of the world’s economic growth, with its economy expanding by 5.7% in 2017.

Even this impressive rate of economic expansion is not what it was just a few years ago. In 2010, the Asian economic growth rate was 7.0%. By 2016, it had fallen to 4.1%. That’s still over twice the growth rate of either North America or the EU. By 2017, however, the continent was growing again, and according to the IMF, Asia grew by 5.6% in 2018 and is estimated to grow by 5.4% in 2019.

The Asia Pacific
Payment Landscape

The Local Payment Culture

For this report, PPRO surveyed 14 key Asian markets, to find out what the payment landscape looked like. Those markets are: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The most common type of online payment method was the e-wallet, with a 40% market share. Cards came a close second, with 31%, followed by bank transfers (13%), cash (10%) and various minor payment types (6%). The card market is dominated to 84% by local schemes and minor players. Visa has 10% of the card market, Mastercard 6% and American Express less than 1%.

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The E-Commerce Market

On average, the B2C e-commerce market in the countries covered by this report is growing by 18%, consumers spend $1,794 a year with online merchants, and online sales account for 20% of all retails sales. However, these averages conceal wide disparities. In Malaysia, for instance, e-commerce volumes are growing at a rate of 100% a year. Whereas, in Hong Kong, a much more mature market, the growth rate is 7.7%. In rapidly industrialising and developing markets such as Thailand and the Philippines, e-commerce is growing at more than 31% a year. In other South Asian markets, such as Vietnam and Indonesia, the growth rate is between 20% and 40%. Alibaba bought 51% of Lazada – the leading provider in all these markets – in April 2016 for $1 billion and has since invested another $3 billion in the business. But whether Lazada is performing as hoped hasn’t been reported.

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PPRO Country Insight Australia

Report / 20.08.2019

A member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Australia is a constitutional monarchy with its capital in the city of Canberra. With a population of just 24.6 million in a country almost the size of Brazil, Australia has one of the world’s lowest population densities. Large areas of the interior are effectively uninhabited.

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PPRO Country Insight China

Report / 20.08.2019

With almost 1.4 billion inhabitants, China is the world’s most populous country. One of the oldest continuous civilizations — China sent ambassadors to the Roman emperor Augustus — the country is home to at least 55 ethnic groups, though over 90% of the population are Han Chinese.

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PPRO Country Insight Hong Kong

Report / 20.08.2019

Handed back to China by the British in 1997, Hong Kong is now an autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China. With 7.4 million inhabitants, the citystate has a population density of 7,075 persons per square kilometre, making it one of the most crowded cities on Earth.

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PPRO Country Insight India

Report / 20.08.2019

India is a federal republic consisting of 29 states. With 1.3 billion citizens, it’s the world’s second most populous country. The state recognises fourteen official languages, with Hindi (spoken by 44% of the population) and English the official languages of the federal government.

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PPRO Country Insight Indonesia

Report / 20.08.2019

By the middle of 2018, Indonesia’s economy was growing at a rate of 5.3% year on year. The Financial Times quotes Capital Economics as warning against expectations of a sustained recovery (after the global recession, Indonesia’s growth rates peaked at over 6%2), quoting the continued low prices of key commodities, including palm oil.

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PPRO Country Insight Japan

Report / 20.08.2019

Japan is home to 127 million people. Having resisted immigration as a way to ameliorate the impact of its ageing population, Japan is one of the world’s most ethnically homogenous countries. Ethnic Japanese make up over 98% of the population.

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PPRO Country Insight New Zealand

Report / 20.08.2019

A member of the Commonwealth of Nations, New Zealand – also known by its Maori name of Aotearoa – is an English-speaking constitutional monarchy with a population of just under 5 million. Settled by the Maoris in the fourteenth century AD, the country was colonised by the British in the nineteenth century. Today it is an increasingly multicultural and diverse society.

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