In 2 years, EuroPass has become a major player from the European digital payment industry. In an interview, Guillaume de Roquefeuil, Founder & CEO of EuroPass, explains this success.
What is the context of the launch of EuroPass in Europe?
The creation of EuroPass comes 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 coming with the platform. For brands, it caused a major communication gap with their clients with whom they were used to communicate in China through marketing banners, geolocation adverts and drive to store notifications.
WeChat is the 1 Social network in China and has recently passed the 1 billion users landmark. The country has also gone cashless: the population has switched to paying via their digital wallet 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 to launch our brand in 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 some solutions capable to engage in a more strategic way with those Chinese Globe Shoppers when they travel outside their 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 or create their certified WeChat accounts in Europe, sometimes displayed into QR codes. For passing tourists, it means they do not have to download the brand’s local app anymore but simply log into WeChat and look for the brand’s account, much like 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 cosmetic brand Guerlain. We first started to develop several digital communication campaigns on Chinese Social medias and later on dedicated drive-to-store operations. Finally we aimed to improve in-store conversion with Chinese mobile payment solutions, Alipay and WechatPay implemented in Guerlain’s best-performing stores, Champs-Elysées 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 may 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 strengthen 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 multiply 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.