Shopee, Visa forge strategic partnership to seize growing digital economy opportunities in the region

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From left, Terence Pang, Chief Operating Officer, Shopee, and Neil Mumm, Head of Merchant Sales & Acquiring, Asia Pacific, Visa during the Shopee and Visa sign five-year strategic partnership held today, October 1, 2020
Photo from Shopee

By Alithea De Jesus

As the pandemic limits physical contact and adaption to a more efficient. and safe transactions, this paves the way to the phenomenal growth of the digital economy across the world. It is interesting to note that the South East Asian region remains to dominate the recorded e-commerce transactions.

With this reality that is bound to stay even after the pandemic, Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, and Visa, the world’s leader in digital payments revealed their strategic alliance via a five-year regional strategic partnership that will encourage greater participation in Southeast Asia’s digital economy.

This would certainly boost and sustain the region’s overall economic growth and for Shopee users, this means they will also benefit by paying with an ease of mind using Visa and enjoying additional promotions and rewards.

The move is part of Shopee’s mission to better individuals and businesses’ lives through technology wherein everyone can snare this opportunity that continues to grow and this includes digital payments.

As part of the regional agreement, Shopee and Visa will partner to:

  • Incentivize MSMEs to digitalize their business on Shopee and adopt digital payments through Visa
  • Provide MSMEs with marketing and campaign support to drive awareness, traffic, and sales to online stores
  • Launch co-branded credit cards in collaboration with local banks
  • Offer fast, easy, and secure Visa payments to all Shopee users.
  • Create unique experiences for Shopee users through Visa’s exclusive sponsorship platforms

Shopee will provide shoppers and merchants with greater value, convenience, and security through Visa, making it easier to do business and increase sales. Visa will tap on Shopee’s extensive user base to expand its presence with Southeast Asia MSMEs and online shoppers.

Terence Pang, Chief Operating Officer, Shopee, said, “Shopee continually strengthens our ecosystem to be an enabler for MSMEs to leverage technology to grow their business. We are looking forward to working closely with Visa to leverage their extensive and secure network to make it easier for sellers to digitalize, particularly in tier-two cities and rural areas. Our shoppers will also benefit from a more convenient and rewarding experience that will encourage purchases and spur the economy’s growth. We’re committed to being in Southeast Asia for Southeast Asia to unlock the transformative power of technology.”

Neil Mumm, Head of Merchant Sales & Acquiring, Asia Pacific, Visa, said, “When a small business goes digital, they’re plugged into a much broader commerce landscape. Visa is working to help any business, regardless of their size or location, better attract and serve more local and global customers by getting enabled to accept digital payments in a safe and secure manner. This is especially important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers and businesses increasingly adopt touchless payments and online shopping. Visa is looking forward to working with Shopee to extend access to the digital economy for small businesses across Southeast Asia. Our expanded partnership with Shopee is one of the exciting ways Visa is supporting small businesses as they recover and look towards future growth.” 

Over the next few months, Shopee and Visa will also launch co-branded credit cards across selected markets in partnership with local banks. It will offer shoppers integrated and seamless rewards and allow Visa to reach more local consumers. In Malaysia, the Maybank Shopee Credit Card was launched in June 2020 and was received well by Malaysians with an overwhelming response in the first few days of launch.

Interestingly, Southeast Asia will remain on the track to become the fourth-largest economy by 2030, with an increasing percentage of GDP driven by the digital economy. The region’s internet economy is expected to reach $300 billion by 2025 with e-commerce being the biggest sector and driver of growth. The Southeast Asian e-commerce market is estimated to be worth $150 billion by 2025, up from $38 billion in 2018.

An increasingly tech-savvy population, rising middle class and the accelerated shift towards online services will further fuel the e-commerce industry. In 2015, 49 million people bought or sold items online, and by 2019, that number tripled to 150 million. With more than 70% of the region’s adult population being unbanked or underbanked, adopting digital payments will enable them to participate in the digital economy.

As the market leader, Shopee will continue to leverage its key strengths to help buyers, sellers and brand partners make buying and selling online accessible for all. Shopee has experienced strong growth in Q1 2020. According to App Annie, in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, Shopee emerged as the top in the Shopping category by average monthly active users and downloads, and also the total time spent in-app on Android.

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