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2022 Predictions on eCommerce & B2B Cross-Border Payments

Richard ClaytonRichard Clayton
December 20, 2021

While we thought we had left behind the craziness of 2020, 2021 turned out to be just as challenging in many ways. From continuous and unpredictable worldwide lockdowns to supply chain disruptions, eSellers were kept on their toes throughout.

Indeed, if there’s anything we’ve learned from the past couple of years, it’s that it’s becoming even more difficult, if not impossible, to make any predictions at all. Or, in the words of the late Jackie Mason, “predictions are preposterous.” And yet, as we watch the sun set slowly over 2021 and await the dawn of 2022, we’re going to give it our best shot anyway.

We asked our Payoneer executives and senior management across all regions what their outlook is on the worlds of eCommerce, freelancing, B2B and global payments to see which way they think the wind is blowing.

Here’s what they had to say.

How is eCommerce evolving in your country and where do you see the industry going in 2022?

The biggest opportunity in eCommerce appears to benefit the private label seller. Brands, while not easy to create, can benefit from wider margins than those of resellers and often means less competition. Direct to Consumer (D2C) sites, like Shopify and others, can help brands build direct relationships with consumers and control the experience. Meanwhile, global marketplaces are clamoring to bring unique brands onto their sites.

Perhaps the most interesting change, though, is the sudden rise of brand acquirers over the last 24 months, backed by deep PE funding, giving private label sellers a clear exit strategy from plenty of suiters offering high multiples.

  • Iain McNicoll, Regional VP, Americas

In China, online sellers are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and demanding more solutions beyond payments, including pre-paid cards, FX, working capital and checkout services. Another major trend in cross-border eCommerce that we’ve seen is the growth potential of the B2B segment, which will continue to expand and be backed by the Chinese government’s favorable policies and support for digitalization. As a result, the traditional cross-border ecological chain will certainly be upgraded with new technology and capital investments.

  • James Huang, VP China

Marketplace platforms will continue to grow, expand, and consolidate. As countries start to get back to normal there will be a big opportunity around how retailers innovate for both online and offline commerce. Retailers will also need to find ways to connect online shopping with physical stores (e.g., click and collect). Finally, we expect to see more non-retail businesses incorporate digital elements and provide a transactional experience (e.g., G2C) to their services.

  • Nagesh Devata – Enterprise Regional VP, Singapore & APAC

During the pandemic, there has been a huge uptick in the level of customer acquisition in eCommerce. This presents a big opportunity in maintaining and upselling to these customers in the year ahead to maximize revenues. While the threat of new COVID variants is constantly present, many Europeans are starting to consider life after the pandemic, which could signal upcoming gains for the travel sector. Finally, we can expect the post-Brexit trade deals between the UK and the rest of the world to open new corridors for eCommerce sellers across Europe and globally.

  • James Allum, Regional VP, Europe

The continuing shifts in merchant behavior, matched with strong investor confidence, has ushered Southeast Asia officially into its ‘Digital Decade’ and the region is on its way towards $1T GMV by 2030. Buyers across SEA are getting more sophisticated in their purchasing journey, with around 80% utilizing online channels during the discovery and evaluation stages. As a result, businesses need to optimize their omnichannel purchase journey. Businesses also need to better understand their target markets’ and ensure they have brand presence across all the touch points in their purchase journeys.

Finally, with nine in 10 digital merchants now accepting digital payments, there is a lot of room for growth in digital lending due to the popularization of consumer financing options and an increased appetite for supply chain financing.

  • Miguel Warren, Regional VP, Southeast Asia

Employees are working from home rather than at the office, students are studying online rather than at school and people are buying things online rather than at brick-and-mortar stores, which is why Japan’s eCommerce industry will continue booming in 2022. Additionally, this year’s Digital Agency initiative, a governmental program that aims to reform admin through digitization, is streamlining online processes and rapidly driving the digital economy into the future.

  • Oko Okamoto, Country Manager, Japan 

eCommerce is growing exponentially in Australia and is expected to exceed $60B AUD in 2021 and over $70B in 2025.  It is currently tracking at almost 2% of GDP and valued at over 16% of total retail.  Most sellers have strong marketplace channels in the AU market, and more are exploring cross-border trade to further their growth. There are two trending areas in the AU digital economy:

  • Buy Now Pay Later is expanding, with over nine active players in the local market, while major global players, Afterpay and Zip Co, hail from Australia. It is a very competitive space and adoption is high, with merchants offering, on average, over six payment methods on their sites.
  • There is growth in new retailer led marketplaces (over 10 announced in 2021), with retailers often leveraging out-of-the-box marketplace software to build their own.
  • Nathan Archie, Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand


The Korean IT industry, including goods, services, intellectual property, has been quite local to the domestic market, and I expect we will see more and more cases where Korean platforms go global, and likewise, global platforms will approach Korea more aggressively. In doing so, we expect suppliers, creators, hosts, sellers, and streamers will be able to profit further from the global market and not just be limited to Korea.


  • Woo Lee, VP Regional Head, East Asia


What role do you see service providers taking in 2022?

The biggest opportunities we are seeing in LATAM are for professionals, start-ups and local SMBs looking to provide services abroad, mainly to other LATAM countries, but also to the US and Europe. This is currently generating good revenues for local economies, a genuine path to growth and development in the region. High-demand services include software development, digital marketing, user experience and content writing, and professional services for legal, tax and financial matters.

There are a few reasons to explain these trends:

  • An increase in global demand for these services, especially in LATAM where pricing is competitive.
  • LATAM has a highly educated population with appropriate skillsets.
  • The region has a flourishing tech/digital entrepreneur ecosystem.
  • Mar Fernandez, Country Manager, LATAM

The Ukrainian digital economy is set to continue rapidly developing in 2022 for the following reasons:

  • Demand for Ukrainian IT services, including programmers and developers, remains high and will continue growing.
  • Ukrainian delivery companies have streamlined their processes and are now shipping to the US and rest of world. This has enabled sellers and SMEs to expand to new geographies and target new customers.
  • Remote work and new technologies have created new opportunities in the Ukrainian creative sector, greatly expanding freelancing opportunities.
  •  Igor Kovalov, Country Manager, Ukraine

The hybrid model of work that covid amplified is here to stay. We’ll see more freelancers out there that are able to work from any location they want in the world and still be full time employed in a company. So, it’s a mix of working full-time in a different location than the company you work for or working as freelancers.

  • Eyal Moldovan, VP, SMB

What will be the biggest challenges for eCommerce in your country, both for sellers and for merchants? 

While supply chain delays and increased shipping costs have created major headwinds for eCommerce sellers in 2021, it looks like relief is on the way, as supply chain obstacles are set to ease in the coming months. Currently, online sellers that I speak with are buying whatever they can due to the limited supply, and this seems like a prudent strategy. But I expect things to return to some level of normalcy in the second half of 2022, when we will see online marketplace sales and especially D2C site sales flourishing again.

  • Iain McNicoll, Regional VP, Americas

The biggest challenge for B2C sellers has been this year’s Amazon account clean-up, which according to the Shenzhen cross-border eCommerce association impacted over 50K Chinese sellers who collectively lost over a billion dollars. The logistics backlog and cargo pricing surge have also weighed on Chinese sellers, who often face cashflow issues and are now very conservative with their expansion plans.

We also don’t think the supply chain issues will be solved in the short term, which will likely lead to a change in business strategy for Chinese sellers. According to Jungle Scout research, a third of Amazon sellers are thinking of a multi-platform or multi-region strategy, or even starting their own DTC business without relying on the marketplaces.

  • James Huang, VP China

Logistics and shipping will be the main challenges in SEA in 2022, largely because of the locations of key markets and the lack of infrastructure in these countries. With more than 270 million inhabitants, Indonesia is home to Southeast Asia’s largest population, but its people are also spread across more than 6,000 separate inhabited islands. Similarly, the 107 million people living in the Philippines are distributed across roughly 2,000 inhabited islands. Shipping to these archipelago nations poses enormous logistical challenges for eCommerce companies.

Furthermore, poor infrastructure across developing economies like Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam poses a challenge for cross-border fulfillment. That’s one of the reasons why many cross-border sellers choose to work with marketplaces that can help them tap into existing infrastructure to support last mile delivery.

  • Miguel Warren, Regional VP, Southeast Asia

I think there will be several challenges for sellers in the coming year related to where products are sourced, business expansion and environmental impact.

Regarding global supply chains, sellers and merchants need to recognize that the overreliance on China isn’t healthy and diversification to places like Mexico, South America and India will be key. Additionally, businesses looking to expand need to move beyond the US market. Markets like Mexico, Canada and South America have a lot of potential, but to take advantage, sellers will need to invest in website design, customer support in different languages, product research and more. Finally, consumers are taking environmentalism more seriously, so businesses will need to invest in things like sustainable packaging if they want to thrive in this new environment.

  • Ya Wen, ENT Sales, Americas


Korean marketplaces, including Coupang enabled direct 3PL sales for global merchants to Korea. It will be the transition year from the drop-shipping market to D2C market. In doing so, we expect some changes in the Korean ecommerce ecosystem. For some people, it will be a challenge though for others it will seen as an opportunity.

  • Woo Lee, VP Regional Head, East Asia & Australia

What trends in B2B services do you predict for 2022?

The growth of B2B companies and demand for cross-border payment solutions has accelerated over the last three years. Given that we see no major upcoming change in market conditions, we’re confident that 2022 will be another successful year for local entrepreneurs and companies.

  • Mar Fenandez, Country Manager, LATAM 

There is strong demand in Australia for B2B services as we see more businesses looking overseas for growth.  The ANZ mentality is also very much a global mindset, and with small population sizes, it is much easier to scale quickly in these markets and be ready for a larger global market.

I see this demand for global growth only increasing into 2022 as B2B businesses continue to adopt new technology to enable them to scale and grow globally quickly and more profitably. The ability to reach more customers in more countries, across a myriad of verticals has never been easier.  We are seeing an increasing trend of people looking to start their own initiatives, i.e., working for themselves, after coming out of long lockdowns across ANZ and seeking more flexibility when it comes to work. This will only increase the demand on B2B services moving forward.

  • Nathan Archie, Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand

I think that the eCommerce ecosystems will continue to evolve as digital payments become a preferred method of payment. Pre-pandemic, in countries like the Philippines, up to 70% of consumer purchases on marketplaces were done by COD – cash on delivery.

As many countries in the region still have a relatively low penetration of credit cards and bank accounts, digital wallets like GCash in the Philippines are seeing a surge in B2B commerce related transactions. We’re also seeing consolidation, as large players like Tokopedia and Go Jek in Indonesia have joined forces to create a massive eCommerce, financial services, and ride hailing group called GoTo. As these wallets become more entrenched in the eCommerce ecosystem, I think we’ll start to see more collaboration between marketplace platforms and wallets, to target consumer spending across multiple categories.

  • Miguel Warren, Regional VP, Southeast Asia

As Korea is beginning to get the pandemic under control it is preparing the next phase. We see more and more B2B platforms from ecommerce, online ads, intellectual property, and streaming, targeting global markets and seeking an effective solution to handle their account receivables as well as payables.

  • Woo Lee, VP Regional Head, East Asia & Australia 

Getting Ready for the Unexpected

With so many unknowns going into 2022, preparing your business can be a daunting task. Fortunately, Payoneer is here to assist in making sure that you can effectively process your payments, enabling you to scale up your offerings and expand into new markets. To learn more about Payoneer’s cross-border payments solution, simply click below.

Learn more

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