In the past two years, EuroPass has become a major player in the European digital payment industry. Guillaume de Roquefeuil, founder and CEO of EuroPass, explains this success.
What is the context of the launch of EuroPass in Europe?
The creation of EuroPass came with the realisation that, upon arriving in Europe, Chinese travellers were not able to use WeChat, their digital wallet WeChat Pay, WeChat Moments and the numerous other services and functions that come with the platform. For brands, it caused a major communication gap with their clients, with whom they are used to communicating in China through marketing banners, geolocation adverts and drive-to-store notifications.
WeChat is the first social network in China and has recently passed the one billion users mark. The country has also gone cashless: the population has switched to paying via their digital wallets when shopping back home. With this in mind, it was obvious there was room to innovate and propose a solution benefiting both retailers and travellers in Europe. In terms of location, Paris represented the most interesting city in which to launch our brand, because of the volume of Chinese tourists the city welcomes every year.
In parallel, we also work with institutions and city partners such as railway companies, tour operators and museums to develop solutions capable of engaging in a more strategic way with Chinese globe shoppers when they travel outside their own country.
More concretely, how is EuroPass changing the retail and tourism landscape in Europe?
In Europe, we support brands with their digital communication and payment solutions. We are able to define and set up marketing and communication strategies targeting Chinese FIT [fully independent travellers] or create their certified WeChat accounts in Europe, sometimes displayed in QR codes. It means tourists no longer have to download the brand’s local app, but can simply log into WeChat and look for the brand’s account, much as they would do back in China.
In parallel, we offer an online and in-store mobile payment solution by handling all transactions, to allow brands to accept payments in yuan while collecting the payment in their local currency, without being subject to banking commissions.
We can also mention a comprehensive project managed with French luxury cosmetics brand Guerlain. We first started to develop several digital communication campaigns on Chinese social media and later on dedicated drive-to-store operations. Finally, we aimed to improve in-store conversion with Chinese mobile payment solutions, and implemented Alipay and WeChat Pay in Guerlain’s best-performing stores, Champs-Élysées and Vendôme.
What do you make of brands’ and institutions’ acceptance of this new technology in Europe?
In France, we really noticed a difference in brands’ interest in our solution during the second half of 2017. If merchants and institutions are attracted by EuroPass, it is because we provide an all-in-one solution, mixing digital payment and marketing capacities alongside geolocation facilities to send relevant drive-to-store incentives to globe shoppers’ mobile phones.
In addition, thanks to EuroPass, Chinese customers can flash and share the QR code of a brand they have spotted locally – yet another way for local brands and international merchants alike to benefit from the social media platform and surf on the brand advocacy trend.
Can you tell us more about upcoming developments and projects for EuroPass?
Today, EuroPass has successfully created a Chinese digital ecosystem in Europe. Our recent collaboration with Global Blue has strengthened our position in France and we are already working with over 100 clients from the retail and tourism industries in the country.
Besides developing other shopping and travel-friendly solutions and multiplying our partnerships with stakeholders from the retail and travel industry, we are of course looking to extend our geographic footprint across Europe, in the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy first and, later on, in Germany and Switzerland.