Splitit’s Roster Move Looks to Bring Installment Mobile Payments to APAC
Splitit has already made quite a splash, thanks to its ability to bring simple, layaway-style installment payments to the mobile payments arena. In fact, it’s been working on a global expansion effort, and recently sent word our way to make a broader move into the Australia and Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. This will be a challenge, more than likely, but Splitit also sent word about their new roster move, bringing in Andrew Pipolo, formerly PayPal’s managing director, to handle the operation.
Pipolo wasn’t just managing director, but rather, managing director of PayPal Japan from 2009. This means he’s not only acquainted with mobile payments systems, but also with the APAC culture, or at least the Japanese portion of same.
Pipolo also had a hand in getting PayPal into AUstralia, reports note, so that’s another point in his understanding and previous operation within the APAC culture. Pipolo’s efforts mean distribution alliances in the region for PayPal that were worth over $20 billion Australian in online payments, reports noted, which means he’s also got volume experience on his side. He will be operating out of Sydney, reports note, and will “work closely” with two of Splitit’s Sydney-based directors.
Further, Pipolo offered comment on his appointment, saying “Splitit is the only solution of its kind and can already be offered in a multitude of countries under their current regulatory and licensing environments and without any further product development….”
For the most part, this should go smoothly. He already understands Japanese and Australian culture, and he’s firing into an environment where mobile payments are increasingly growing in prevalence. He may have one big problem afoot, though, in China. The Chinese culture has commonly eschewed debt, which is why credit cards struggled to make any inroads in the country. That’s changed somewhat in recent years, but there may be holdouts enough to make Splitit’s time difficult. However, if it focuses on the extremely limited nature of the debt, it may get enough begrudging acceptance from former holdouts to be a success.
Only time will tell how well this works, but Splitit has a better chance than many. That’s thanks to a novel product and some very experienced staff handling things.