(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. is building out teams that handle card transactions and other payments for businesses by recruiting staff across key Asian markets amid the boom in digital commerce.
The New York-based lender has begun providing services within its merchant-acquiring unit in Australia, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and New Zealand this year, with Hong Kong planned by the end of 2022, according to Max Neukirchen, the firm’s global head of payments & commerce solutions.
The bank is looking to hire “many, many dozens if not more people,” he said in an interview.
JPMorgan’s payments business combines the firm’s treasury services, trade, card and merchant services capabilities to help clients pay anyone from anywhere in the world at any time. As e-commerce surges across Asia with many small merchants still waiting to go digital, getting these firms as clients is increasingly attractive to banks and fintech companies alike.
India ranks among markets with the highest growth potential, said Neukirchen, saying the country is “very important” due to its size and the transition away from cash to other electronic payment methods. Japan is also a priority for the bank with a growing e-commerce market, while Australia benefits from heavy usage of credit cards, he said. Singapore and Hong Kong are “critical hubs” for the region, he added.
In China, where the payments market is dominated by local giants Alipay and Wechat Pay, the bank has a partnership with a local firm. According to Neukirchen, it has been harder to get licenses within the world’s second largest economy, though he doesn’t rule out an expansion there sometime in the future.
“Down the road we might want to expand our footprint in China but the priority for now is on those seven new markets,” he said.