Apple China Payment Processor Considers Taiwan Listing

PayEase Corp., the Beijing-based payment processor for Apple Inc., is considering listing its shares in Taiwan as the company prepares to expand into cross-border yuan services.

Executives have met underwriters at Taipei-based KGI Securities Co., Yuanta Financial Holding Co. and Fubon Financial Holding Co., spokesman Kevin Yim said in an interview by telephone yesterday. An initial public offering may come next year at the earliest, and no decision has been made on whether to proceed, he said.

PayEase, founded by the Beijing Government before being bought by a group of private investors in 2005, joins Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Meituan.com in offering investors a chance to tap into the world’s largest Internet market. Listing in Taiwan could help the company access the world’s second-largest Chinese-speaking population after receiving one of the first cross-border payment-processor licenses from China.

“The payment industry has just started in Taiwan so we can educate the regulators here and we can also help a lot of the Taiwanese merchants,” Yim said. PayEase is “considering which market gives us the best valuation and also strategic advantage for promoting our cross-border license.”

PayEase is also looking at Singapore, the U.S. Nasdaq and Hong Kong, and has spoken with international brokers including JP Morgan Chase & Co., he said.

Taiwan’s smaller liquidity, higher ratio of individual to institutional investors, and regulatory environment may weigh against its choice as a listing destination, Yim said.

Payment Promotion

China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange issued cross-border payment licenses to five providers, allowing them to process yuan-denominated transactions for foreign merchants that can be settled in local currencies, PayEase said in a press release last month.

Executives this week are also meeting with Taiwanese airlines, software and games companies to promote its payment services and access to the Chinese market, Yim said.

PayEase, which counts WI Harper, Capinfo and Maxima Capital as investors, provides payment processing services for local and global clients including Apple’s app store, China Mobile Ltd., Nike Inc. and Giorgio Armani SpA.

Loyalty Alliance Enterprise Corp., a marketing and customer-loyalty provider controlled by PayEase filed for a Nasdaq listing in 2011 and has since postponed that share sale.

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