Worldpay Begins Asia-Pacific Operations

SINGAPORE (05/23/2000) - Encouraged by the current enthusiasm shown in the region for electronic commerce, WorldPay PLC, a provider of e-commerce payment tools and services, will start its Asia-Pacific operations in Singapore next week.

The U.K.-based company's regional headquarters will also be its customer service centre for users in Korea, Japan, the People's Republic of China and the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region, said Nick Ogden, the company's chief executive officer.

"To provide technical support to these users, we plan to extend our voice over IP (VoIP) network into Singapore," he said.

"To train our customers, we also use video on demand (VoD) technology and we are looking closely at expanding our VoD-based training in the region by possibly setting up a server here," added the chief of the European company.

"Asia-Pacific is very similar to Europe in terms of e-commerce which is still very much in its infancy in both regions. There is awareness, but not wide usage," noted Ogden.

However, taking the finance sector as a benchmark, Ogden expects that heightened competition in the industry due to deregulation will increasingly force financial institutions to go regional and as a result, move e-commerce forward.

WorldPay's Singapore office will start with six staff doing technical support and marketing under the company's director of Asia-Pacific operations, Jo Wright, who will also be responsible to form strategic relationships in the region.

"We are hoping to build partnerships with organizations involved in wireless application protocol (WAP), broadband, and key business-to-business opportunities. For the WAP market mainly targeted at youths, over the next three to four months, we expect our customers to extend their services using our products as enablers. We are also looking at the possibility of working with regional telcos in this," Ogden said.

The WorldPay product does single currency Internet payment processing in one of 22 major currencies or multi-currency processing in 169 currencies with settlement in one of 22.

Other service and product components from the vendor are Click and Build for constructing online shops, WorldAccount which is a server-based wallet, and FuturePay, the Internet equivalent of Direct Debit, or subscription payments.

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