The GDC Blog

Recently I have begun to look at the global online/mobile payments sector as a giant game of Wei Qi or Go. The world is the playing board and providers such as PayPal, Google, M-Pesa and Yandex are all vying to occupy dominate space.

Back in December Russian search site Yandex decided to up the ante a bit by tying together with Sberbank of Russia to enhance its ability to service the e-commerce sector as well as the individual to individual remittance market.

As each vendor seeks to extend their closed system into different markets they will compete with local or regional providers who have already established a foothold in their respective markets. The local vendors have no ability to extend themselves outside of their own fortresses and thus the strategic battle of attrition actually begins.

Who will be the winner in one year, five years or 10 years? I think that this depends on how the larger vendors begin to look at how to partner with the local markets and if they become more strategic in how they position their platforms to leverage their global network strengths with vendors who have local dominance. Think OneWorld and SkyTeam both highly successful airline alliances that combine the best of local with global in the air transportation business.