New e-system to add sparkle to S'pore's Aspial

In its attempt to become a global player, locally-based jewelry manufacturer Aspial Corporation Ltd has picked multi-currency e-payment solutions provider WorldPay plc to handle its secure online payments.

SINGAPORE--In its attempt to become a global player, locally-based jewelry manufacturer Aspial Corporation Ltd has picked multi-currency e-payment solutions provider WorldPay plc to handle its secure online payments.

"Previously, the (payment) system we were on could only process payments on single currency and this hampered our goal of becoming a global player," Aspial business planning manager Ng Kean Seen said, without disclosing the identity of its previous payment solution provider.

WorldPay's solution provides financial processing by collecting online payments from buyers in over 130 currencies and remitting them to retailers (WorldPay's customers) in 25 currencies.

Aspial, formerly known as Lee Hwa Holdings, is listed on the Singapore Exchange with 20 retail outlets island-wide. Its online business was launched officially last December.

"About 50 percent of our online business comes from overseas...mostly the US, while the other 50 percent is local... In the next one year, we hope to see the figures change to 80 percent overseas and 20 percent local," Ng said.

Aspial provides a "14-day money back return policy with no question asked for online purchases made from out of town", Ng added.

However, this policy does not extend to local customers. "Our overseas customers do not have the luxury of seeing the products in our 20 retails outlets here...we are providing the allowance for them to return the jewelry if they don't like the item they have bought online," Ng explained.

He said the Aspial.com site was not set up solely for selling jewelry. "Our e-commerce business is not just for increasing sales, it also works as a sales and marketing support...and some even use our site as a product catalog, which lists about 500 items valued between S$90 and S$28,000," he added.

"We have both local and overseas customers who browse our site, make enquiries and purchase our jewelry when they are in Singapore," Ng said.

He declined to reveal the financial performance of Aspial's e-commerce business.