The challenge is a familiar one: to build or develop your international marketplace, you must quickly take on tens of thousands of sellers from all countries, especially China. This involves setting up a KYC assessment process for these sellers that is effective and fully compliant. What’s the right solution? Setting up a digital platform allowing sellers’ files and their analysis in their original language to be collected, as explained by Alexandre Perrachon, Sales Director of Webhelp KYC Services.

Online sales have doubled over the past 4 years, reaching $4.5 billion in 2021. In 2022, this movement will continue and it is estimated that nearly a quarter of online purchases will be international. 2022 will therefore be marked by a large scale challenge: hypergrowth in international marketplaces. With this in mind, the topic of widespread onboarding of national and international sellers will become central.

As we will see, a well-managed KYC procedure makes it possible to meet two major challenges: guaranteeing regulatory compliance and offering sellers a simple and quick onboarding journey.

1 – Ensure compliance: comply with the regulations of the countries concerned, and adapt to their successive developments

When assessing sellers during onboarding, it must be possible to detect cases of fraud but also to ensure compliance with current international regulations. This presents 3 difficulties:

  • these sellers must meet numerous criteria including some that are particularly strict (declaration of beneficial owners, non-registration on sanctions lists, etc.),
  • national and international regulations are constantly changing, moving towards stronger controls, which require a structure for legal monitoring at international level,
  • the types of proof of identity (legal entities and natural persons), the company registers vary from country to country and sometimes even from region to region within the same country, as is the case in China for example. Hence the need to have a thorough knowledge of current practices, and the ability to analyse documents in their original language without having to call upon certified translators.

In this context, more and more marketplaces are turning to specialists able to digitalise this process, such as Webhelp KYC Services, which provides:

  • a wide geographical presence to be as close as possible to the sellers (Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas),
  • far-reaching expertise in languages to analyse the files and guide the sellers on their onboarding journeys (experts in 50 languages),
  • international, national and regional regulatory expertise,
  •  extensive experience in the fight against fraud (making it possible to build document fraud databases that can be shared between marketplaces)

2 – Offer the best experience to sellers, turning it into a competitive asset

To attract as many sellers as possible, marketplaces need to provide a seamless and fully integrated user experience. This usually involves digitalising the collection of documentation and information that make up the sellers’ files.
To maximise sellers conversion rates, marketplaces must also be able to analyse files efficiently at times absorbing large increases in volumes from one month to the next (especially just before “peak seasons” such as “Black Friday” or the festive season).

In this quest for flexibility and operational efficiency, again, marketplaces or their payment service providers (PSPs) are increasingly turning to specialists carrying out the onboarding of sellers by mixing the best in automation technologies with the work of expert analysts, to guide sellers throughout their journey.

Again, outsourcing has significant advantages:

  • personnel numbers in teams can be adjusted as you go, depending on the need (annual peaks or troughs in activity, seasonal peaks, etc.),
  • large scale deployment is possible, nationally or internationally, without HR being faced with huge recruitment operations that are hard to handle,
  • in-house teams can become loyal and upgrade their skills because they focus on tasks with high added value.

These sellers must be onboarded en masse and as quickly as possible, usually within 24 or 48 hours.

Outsourcing of onboarding: a good solution, with some conditions…

In international markets, outsourcing seller onboarding is the current trend. Awareness will become widespread in 2022: leading brands will prefer to focus on their core business – a perfect customer experience – and delegate tasks such as onboarding national or international sellers to specialists.

Outsourcing makes it possible to focus on such priorities, but with a word of warning: almost all KYC service providers rely on a technological solution, but they do not have sufficient, qualified personnel. However, an experienced team must be able to take over as soon as technology hits a problem (illegible, incomplete, outdated or fake document, etc.). This should be done within 24 hours in order to maximise the number of sellers onboarded. This sometimes involves contacting them, in their own language.

For example, to process onboarding requests from Chinese sellers, Webhelp KYC Services relies on its local teams in the APAC region (Asia Pacific), specialising in KYC operations and fluent in Mandarin Chinese. The stakes are high as China is now the largest e-commerce market with $672 billion generated by online sales in 2020.
For large Chinese – or American – marketplaces that want to develop in Europe by accelerating the onboarding of local sellers, it now seems essential to also rely on KYC management platforms that master the specific characteristics of each country (different regulations, multiple languages, cultural approaches and different uses…).

In conclusion, all marketplaces that have growth ambitions, or even hypergrowth ambitions, face a “puzzle” when it comes to onboarding sellers from all over the world: How to attract them? How to collect their onboarding requirements? How to maximise their conversion rate by providing the best user experience? How to ensure compliance with each country’s regulations?
To solve this “puzzle”, it would appear that using a specialised platform that is multilingual and combines technology and human capability is necessary. This is the choice that key leaders are making today to support this growth.

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