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语言超过100种,东南亚想数字化转型太难

语言超过100种,东南亚想数字化转型太难

Veta Chan 2021年07月07日
《财富》杂志专访印尼一位金融科技公司高管。

总部位于雅加达的数字支付平台Xendit的首席运营官及联合创始人特沙•维加雅表示,随着新冠疫情蔓延加速全球数字化转型,东南亚初创企业在应对语言、监管和行为差异方面均面临着特殊的挑战。

进入金融科技领域之前,维加雅曾经在私募股权公司工作。“很幸运地把握了时机,因为在2015年至2016年左右,印尼的创业大潮真正开始启动。”她在专栏“东方世界聚光灯”(Eastworld Spotlight)的一次访谈中告诉《财富》杂志。

“能够加入科技领域真是很兴奋。”

东南亚有6.75亿人口,讲100多种语言和方言,是世界上最多样化的地区之一。“整个东南亚有大约25000座岛屿。仅印尼就有约17000座岛屿。”维加雅说,“必须理解一点,由于文化和人口的多样性,以及岛屿数量庞大,支付可能超级复杂。”

贝恩公司(Bain & Company)的一项研究发现,尽管东南亚地区仍然依赖现金,但倾向现金支付的人群比例从2019年的40%下降到2020年的34%。与此同时,22%的受访者表示更喜欢电子钱包,比之前年增加8%。新冠疫情期间人们被迫居家,商店也暂时歇业,无意中加速了转变。2019年,东南亚电子钱包支付额超过220亿美元,预计2025年将增至1140亿美元。

2015年,Xendit刚开始是点对点支付提供商,后来发展成向印尼、菲律宾和更多地区提供支付解决方案的公司。Xendit是印尼第一家通过Y Combinator创业加速器项目的公司,3月还在Accel牵头的B轮融资中募集到6460万美元,总共筹集了8800万美元的风险投资。

维加雅在接受《财富》杂志采访时,谈到了东南亚多样化的数字支付格局,以及与世界其他地区的不同之处。她还解释了在东南亚经营面临的复杂性和挑战。限于篇幅,为表述更加清晰,以下采访内容已经过编辑。

《财富》:“支付网关”是什么?你们跟哪些商家合作,为客户提供什么服务?

特沙•维加雅:我喜欢用物流公司比喻,只是我们不送货,转移的是资金。我们接收资金并代表商户交付资金,这样就能够在线交易。基本上可以说我们是亚洲版的Stripe。我们与各种规模的商家合作,最大客户之一是Traveloka(总部位于雅加达的旅游产品预订平台)。我们利用自有平台帮该公司接受在线支付。另外还努力帮一批中小企业转型数字化。也就是说,如果有人想在网上出售商品,比如说通过Shopify之类平台,也能够协助以电子方式收款。我们帮助连接客户银行账户与商户银行账户,也可以连接到Visa和万事达卡(Mastercard)。

很多电商公司本身平台很成熟,不同程度上拥有金融科技能力。这些公司为什么要找你们,你们公司能提供那些电商自己做不到的服务?

搭建支付平台其实非常困难。得一家一家找银行,还要搞定市场上的电子钱包公司,才可以顺利提供支付服务。电商必须构建完整的平台,还要研究算法确保有合适的产品,或者有合适的商家。电商都在努力争取终端用户或客户从平台上购买商品。对它们来说,研究如何管理支付会分散注意力。

在这里要同时提醒一下,东南亚地区的流行支付方式与发达国家很不一样。基本上是无卡交易的世界,因为很多人通过银行转账或电子钱包支付。这意味着必须整合多家参与方,弄清楚从哪家银行转账,在哪家银行有账户才能够顺利接收某些终端用户付款。

你提到了Stripe。但在许多方面,Xendit经营的环境似乎比Stripe更具挑战。

对于在西方世界经营的Stripe之类公司来说,支付手段主要是信用卡。所以连接Visa、万事达卡,做好支付安全和防范欺诈就可以了。而我们面对的付款方式多种多样。要明白一点,东南亚市场上很多人甚至没有银行账户。所以我们必须提供诸多选择,才能够帮助用户在线支付。

显然,东南亚是世界上多样化和复杂程度最高的区域之一。目前Xendit在印尼和菲律宾运营,为什么只面临两个监管系统也很困难?

人们总喜欢认为东南亚是一个市场,实际整个东南亚有大约25000座岛屿。仅印尼就有约17000座岛屿。你能想象支付有多复杂吗?在此必须理解一点,由于文化和人口的多样性,以及岛屿数量庞大,支付可能超级复杂。我们在印尼发现,多数人都会银行转账,就是因为大家都学习过。菲律宾很多人仍然主要用现金支付。习惯完全不同。

所以我想如果有人说:“嘿,我们去东南亚解决支付问题。”以为全东南亚都是一样的。那就大错特错了。

我们进入两个市场,是因为可以理解各监管机构和市场的需求。我们知道印尼监管机构希望推动二维码支付,因为监管知道多数人习惯通过电子钱包支付。在菲律宾,监管行为可能略有不同。我们有责任教育市场,也有责任教育想要进入东南亚的全球商家,从而提升完成和营销的支付数量。

新冠疫情颠覆了很多商业模式,对你们公司商业模式有何影响?

我们很幸运。疫情加速了两大市场的数字化进程。疫情之前我们主要向很多企业提供服务。在疫情期间,大量中小企业和夫妻店纷纷加入。仅上个月,就有7000家中小企业希望向网络化转型,通过我们的平台接收付款。

你们有地区扩张的计划吗?近期有没有上市的计划?

我们的志向远大,想扩展到马来西亚、泰国和越南。我们很看好这些市场。资金方面,短期内不会考虑上市。我们希望专注核心业务,也想继续向其他市场扩张。这是第一大梦想。等到时机成熟时,肯定会选择IPO。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

总部位于雅加达的数字支付平台Xendit的首席运营官及联合创始人特沙•维加雅表示,随着新冠疫情蔓延加速全球数字化转型,东南亚初创企业在应对语言、监管和行为差异方面均面临着特殊的挑战。

进入金融科技领域之前,维加雅曾经在私募股权公司工作。“很幸运地把握了时机,因为在2015年至2016年左右,印尼的创业大潮真正开始启动。”她在专栏“东方世界聚光灯”(Eastworld Spotlight)的一次访谈中告诉《财富》杂志。

“能够加入科技领域真是很兴奋。”

东南亚有6.75亿人口,讲100多种语言和方言,是世界上最多样化的地区之一。“整个东南亚有大约25000座岛屿。仅印尼就有约17000座岛屿。”维加雅说,“必须理解一点,由于文化和人口的多样性,以及岛屿数量庞大,支付可能超级复杂。”

贝恩公司(Bain & Company)的一项研究发现,尽管东南亚地区仍然依赖现金,但倾向现金支付的人群比例从2019年的40%下降到2020年的34%。与此同时,22%的受访者表示更喜欢电子钱包,比之前年增加8%。新冠疫情期间人们被迫居家,商店也暂时歇业,无意中加速了转变。2019年,东南亚电子钱包支付额超过220亿美元,预计2025年将增至1140亿美元。

2015年,Xendit刚开始是点对点支付提供商,后来发展成向印尼、菲律宾和更多地区提供支付解决方案的公司。Xendit是印尼第一家通过Y Combinator创业加速器项目的公司,3月还在Accel牵头的B轮融资中募集到6460万美元,总共筹集了8800万美元的风险投资。

维加雅在接受《财富》杂志采访时,谈到了东南亚多样化的数字支付格局,以及与世界其他地区的不同之处。她还解释了在东南亚经营面临的复杂性和挑战。限于篇幅,为表述更加清晰,以下采访内容已经过编辑。

《财富》:“支付网关”是什么?你们跟哪些商家合作,为客户提供什么服务?

特沙•维加雅:我喜欢用物流公司比喻,只是我们不送货,转移的是资金。我们接收资金并代表商户交付资金,这样就能够在线交易。基本上可以说我们是亚洲版的Stripe。我们与各种规模的商家合作,最大客户之一是Traveloka(总部位于雅加达的旅游产品预订平台)。我们利用自有平台帮该公司接受在线支付。另外还努力帮一批中小企业转型数字化。也就是说,如果有人想在网上出售商品,比如说通过Shopify之类平台,也能够协助以电子方式收款。我们帮助连接客户银行账户与商户银行账户,也可以连接到Visa和万事达卡(Mastercard)。

很多电商公司本身平台很成熟,不同程度上拥有金融科技能力。这些公司为什么要找你们,你们公司能提供那些电商自己做不到的服务?

搭建支付平台其实非常困难。得一家一家找银行,还要搞定市场上的电子钱包公司,才可以顺利提供支付服务。电商必须构建完整的平台,还要研究算法确保有合适的产品,或者有合适的商家。电商都在努力争取终端用户或客户从平台上购买商品。对它们来说,研究如何管理支付会分散注意力。

在这里要同时提醒一下,东南亚地区的流行支付方式与发达国家很不一样。基本上是无卡交易的世界,因为很多人通过银行转账或电子钱包支付。这意味着必须整合多家参与方,弄清楚从哪家银行转账,在哪家银行有账户才能够顺利接收某些终端用户付款。

你提到了Stripe。但在许多方面,Xendit经营的环境似乎比Stripe更具挑战。

对于在西方世界经营的Stripe之类公司来说,支付手段主要是信用卡。所以连接Visa、万事达卡,做好支付安全和防范欺诈就可以了。而我们面对的付款方式多种多样。要明白一点,东南亚市场上很多人甚至没有银行账户。所以我们必须提供诸多选择,才能够帮助用户在线支付。

显然,东南亚是世界上多样化和复杂程度最高的区域之一。目前Xendit在印尼和菲律宾运营,为什么只面临两个监管系统也很困难?

人们总喜欢认为东南亚是一个市场,实际整个东南亚有大约25000座岛屿。仅印尼就有约17000座岛屿。你能想象支付有多复杂吗?在此必须理解一点,由于文化和人口的多样性,以及岛屿数量庞大,支付可能超级复杂。我们在印尼发现,多数人都会银行转账,就是因为大家都学习过。菲律宾很多人仍然主要用现金支付。习惯完全不同。

所以我想如果有人说:“嘿,我们去东南亚解决支付问题。”以为全东南亚都是一样的。那就大错特错了。

我们进入两个市场,是因为可以理解各监管机构和市场的需求。我们知道印尼监管机构希望推动二维码支付,因为监管知道多数人习惯通过电子钱包支付。在菲律宾,监管行为可能略有不同。我们有责任教育市场,也有责任教育想要进入东南亚的全球商家,从而提升完成和营销的支付数量。

新冠疫情颠覆了很多商业模式,对你们公司商业模式有何影响?

我们很幸运。疫情加速了两大市场的数字化进程。疫情之前我们主要向很多企业提供服务。在疫情期间,大量中小企业和夫妻店纷纷加入。仅上个月,就有7000家中小企业希望向网络化转型,通过我们的平台接收付款。

你们有地区扩张的计划吗?近期有没有上市的计划?

我们的志向远大,想扩展到马来西亚、泰国和越南。我们很看好这些市场。资金方面,短期内不会考虑上市。我们希望专注核心业务,也想继续向其他市场扩张。这是第一大梦想。等到时机成熟时,肯定会选择IPO。(财富中文网)

译者:冯丰

审校:夏林

Southeast Asian startups face a particular challenge in navigating differences in language, regulations, and behaviors, as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerates digital transformation around the world, says Tessa Wijaya, COO and cofounder of Jakarta-based digital payment platform Xendit.

Wijaya worked in private equity before jumping into the fintech scene. "I was lucky with the timing because right about 2015–2016 was when the startup scene was starting to really happen in Indonesia," Wijaya told Fortune in an Eastworld Spotlight conversation.

"It was just a really exciting time to be in the tech space."

Southeast Asia is home to 675 million people who speak over 100 languages and dialects, making it one of the most diverse regions in the world. “We have about 25,000 islands in the whole of Southeast Asia. Indonesia itself has about 17,000 islands,” Wijaya said. “We have to understand that because of such varied cultures and such varied amounts of people, as well as the vast number of islands, payments can be super-duper complex."

A study from Bain & Company found that while Southeast Asia still relies on cash, the share of people who prefer to use it for payments fell from 40% in 2019 to 34% in 2020. At the same time, 22% of respondents said they prefer e-wallets, an 8% increase from the year prior. The pandemic has inadvertently accelerated this shift by forcing people to stay at home and temporarily closing stores. E-wallet payments in the region were worth over $22 billion in 2019 and are expected to rise to $114 billion in 2025.

Xendit began as a peer-to-peer payment provider in 2015 and has since evolved into a company providing payment solutions to Indonesia, the Philippines, and the wider region. It is the first Indonesian company accepted into the Y Combinator accelerator program and in March raised $64.6 million in a Series B funding led by Accel. In all, it has raised $88 million in venture funding.

In her interview with Fortune, Wijaya talks about Southeast Asia's diverse digital payment landscape and how it differs from the rest of the world. She also explains the complexities and challenges for businesses operating in the region. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Fortune: So what’s a “payments gateway”? What type of merchants do you work with, and what you do for customers?

Tessa Wijaya: I like to use the analogy of a logistics company, but we actually move money. So we accept funds and we deliver funds on behalf of our merchants so that they can transact online with us. We're basically like the Stripe of Asia. We work with both large and small merchants. One of our biggest customers is Traveloka [the Jakarta-based travel booking platform]. We help them to accept payments online through our platform. We also have a bunch of small-medium enterprises [SMEs] that we've been helping to move to become digital players. What this means is if someone wants to sell something online—say, through a platform like Shopify—we can also help them accept payments in that way. We provide the piping to link your bank account to the merchant’s bank account, or to the likes of Visa and Mastercard.

Many of these e-commerce companies have very sophisticated platforms themselves and, to varying degrees, fintech capabilities. Why would they turn to you, and what is it that you can provide for them that they can't do for themselves?

Building a payment platform is extremely hard. You have to knock on the doors of each of the banks. You have to knock on the doors of the e-wallet players in the market to provide those payment methods. E-commerce players already have to build a whole platform and figure out an algorithm to make sure that the right products are in place or that the right merchants are there. They already have to work on acquiring end users or customers to buy the goods from their platform. It will be really distracting for them to be figuring out how to manage payments themselves.

And just as a reminder, the payment methods prevalent in Southeast Asia are very different than in the developed world. It's very much a non-card space; a lot of people are paying through bank transfers or e-wallet payments. So this means that you must be able to integrate multiple players, you must be able to figure out which bank transfer, which bank accounts we need to open to be able to accept payments from certain end users.

You mentioned Stripe. But in many ways, the environment Xendit operates seems more challenging than the environment Stripe operates in.

For the likes of Stripe, which operates in the Western world, payment is mostly about credit cards. It's about connecting to Visa, Mastercard, and then it's about payment security and guarding against fraud. For us, payment is a lot more varied. You have to understand that in the Southeast Asian market, a lot of people are not even banked. So we have to provide many different options so that they can access payments online.

Obviously, Southeast Asia itself is one of the most diverse and complicated regional markets in the world. Xendit currently operates in Indonesia and the Philippines: Why would it be difficult to figure out how to operate in only two regulatory systems?

People love to slot Southeast Asia as one market when in reality, we have about 25,000 islands in the whole of Southeast Asia. Indonesia itself has about 17,000 islands. Can you imagine the complexity of payments? We have to understand that because of such varied cultures and such varied amounts of people, as well as the vast number of islands, payments can be super-duper complex. We're seeing in Indonesia that most people are already trained to do bank transfers, because we've been trained to do so. In the Philippines, what we see is that people are still predominantly paying by cash. That behavior is completely different.

So I think when people say, “Hey, let's go to Southeast Asia, let's tackle payments there,” they think the whole of Southeast Asia is the same. That's a big mistake.

We're here because we're able to understand…the appetites of each regulator and market. We understand that in Indonesia, regulators want to push for payments via QR codes because they understand that most people are used to paying via e-wallets. In the Philippines, that behavior might be slightly different. It's up to us to educate the market as well as to educate global merchants who want to come into Southeast Asia, to be able to increase the number of payments that they can make and market.

The pandemic has upended a lot of different business models. How has it affected your business model?

We've been lucky. The pandemic has accelerated both our markets going digital. Before the pandemic, we were predominantly serving a lot of enterprises. Through the pandemic, we're seeing a massive influx of SMEs, the mom-and-pop shops. Just last month alone, we saw 7,000 SMEs trying to come online with us, to accept payments through our platform.

Do you have plans for regional expansion? Or any plans in the near future to go public?

We have bigger ambitions. We'd love to be expanding out into Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. We have our eyes set on those markets. In terms of funding, we're not going to be looking at going public anytime soon. We want to focus on our core business; we want to continue to expand out into these other markets. That's the dream first. At some point in time when we think it's right, definitely, an IPO might be on the horizon.

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