In the cross-border e-commerce value chain, where export and import transactions take places every second, sending and receiving global payments is indispensable during this flow of money and goods. However, due to the strict supervision of different countries on its finance, foreign exchange, and money laundering regulations, coupled with the high-frequency and small-scale characteristics of cross-border e-commerce transactions are not that attractive to traditional large banks, so the current cross-border transactions are generally completed by third parties.
There are five main cross-border payment platforms. The old-fashioned collection methods include Payoneer, WorldFirst (Alibaba had acquired this company in Feb. 2019), and the new entrants like Pingpong, Vcan, and LianLian have developed rapidly in recent years.
Pingpong is a company dedicated to providing low-cost cross-border payments and other personalized financial derivative services to cross-border e-commerce sellers around the world, and it has become the first Chinese-funded global provider of cross-border payment for e-commerce sellers.
Founded in June 2015, Pingpong has set a mission to help e-commerce sellers keep more of their hard-earned profits to their own. Before Pingpong launched its payment products, the cross-border payment rates can be as high as 3-5%, now due to Pingpong’s low payment rate, the rate is down to 1%.
Pingpong received its angle round fundraising in Nov. 2015 with CNY 15 million, followed by another five rounds of continuously fundraising.
Below is a brief on Pingpong’s products.
1. "Light Year", one of Pingpong’s star products. Through depositing its own funds, sellers can withdraw cash immediately from their Amazon account after the transaction, shorten the time for Chinese sellers to collect money, and greatly improve the seller's capital turnover rate. The instant payment function enables sellers to collect money without confirmation 7*24 and can save up to 120 days in advance.
2. “Fu Mao” is a one-stop export tax rebate product provided by PingPong for seller partners. It aims to promote the compliance of users' foreign trade processes and enjoy the support of national policies. With the use of Fu Mao, PingPong users have a chance to easily increase their net profit by 3%-7%.
3. “Fu Xin” is an exchange rate optimization product. Users can flexibly choose the timing of foreign exchange through Fuxin, reduce exchange rate risk, and improve the efficiency of foreign exchange settlement for cross-border e-commerce export enterprises, thus completing the effective management of capital flow.
4. Pingpong also provides VAT tax payment service and cross-border acquiring services.
Before 2015, the global cross-border payment agencies were mainly WorldFirst and Payoneer. Their payment rate was 3%-5%. However, with the intensification of competition in the cross-border payment industry, Pingpong reduced the rate to less than 1%. Then Vcan and LianLian entered in 2016 and 2017 respectively. These five cross-border payment platforms have launched a fierce competition in terms of platform service, payment rate, service quality & variety, and method of settlement and withdrawal. The following graph shows the comparison of each company:
Through the comparison of the above figure, we can find that the main advantage of the old cross-border payment companies (Payoneer and WorldFirst)is that they have more e-commerce platforms supported, and the transaction currencies are relatively complete.
On the other hand, Vcan and LianLian, who are new to the industry, have adopted low-cost strategies and are trying to compete for more markets. That makes the original advantage less competitive compared to new entrants’ low rate. So Pingpong is trying to increase the users' adhesiveness by providing good services, in particular, the Light Year that has attracted lots of clients away from Payoneer and WorldFirst.
Therefore, from the current competitive landscape, the standards of services and rates provided by all parties are similar. In the future, the development of the platform should depend more on good customer experience and the ability of cross-border expansion. Whether the platform can go further depends on the founders’ vision of the company. In this respect, with the commission to provide low-cost payment services for e-commerce seller, and with more than 43,000 e-commerce merchants around the world trust PingPong to save them money on cross-border payments, VAT payments, supplier payments, Pingpong is assured a place in the future development of the cross-border payment industry.