ASX-listed fintech Novatti Group has launched a new bill payment solution for members of Australia’s growing community of Chinese residents, migrants, students and toursist, resulting in its shares surging more than 36% in a day.
The chinapayments.com platform enables consumers to pay billers registered with the BPAY electronic bill payment system, using funds from their Alipay e-wallet. WeChat Pay and China UnionPay payments are currently under business development as extensions to the platform.
In launcing the platform, Novatti is seeking to capitalise on Australia’s network of 45,000 BPAY billers, growth in the local Chinese community, which now boasts more than half a million Chinese-born residents and a thrid of Australia’s international student population, and the fact that AliPay and WePay control 90% of China’s e-wallet market.
According to the company, many Chinese do not have access to Visa or MasterCard credit and debit cards, making e-wallets an attractive alternative payment method for residents, including students and new migrants.
Peter Cook, CEO of Novatti described the platform as “another plank” in the company’s strategy to support the booming China Australia market
“If an Australian business wants to be accessible to a Chinese consumer and give themselves the best opportunity for making a sale, they need to be able to accept the Chinese e-wallets,” he told Dynamic Business.
“Our new service will bring Chinese consumers with payment obligations to utilities and service providers directly to Novatti for processing. For insstance, a Chinese student who has an electricity bill can log onto chinapayments.com, enter the biller name, account number and amount. These details are validated, then the student is presented with an Alipay QR code which they scan. The payment is then deducted in Chinese Yuan from the student’s Alipay account and then Novatti settles to Bpay for payment to the electricity company.”
Noting that Alipay has regulatory responsibilities with China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange for the types of cross border payments that can be made, Cook said Novatti’s new platform must assess the category of billers – “for instance, payments to gambling companies are not allowed”.
Looking ahead, Cook said Novatti is seeking a bank license and that it will continue to capitalise on demand for specialist servcies that suit consumers and businesses operating between Australia and China.