A new Mitsubishi subsidiary has started offering US software houses an ecommerce Web site to target world markets so they do not need to set up their own for individual countries.
The Silicon Valley based start up, dubbed One Galaxy, has teamed with a major US bank, Wells Fargo, to help US companies penetrate the UK and Japan initially, but it also plans to target other countries later.
Wells Fargo will enable US merchants to process credit card payments over the Internet in local currencies around the globe. One Galaxy, on the other hand, will provide pre and post sales support such as content workflow and database management to maintain current registration information. It will also provide upgrade services and deliver product information to users.
Ichiro Takano, One Galaxy?s chief executive, said: "Vendors without existing international ecommerce capabilities can become members of the One Galaxy Marketplace, a unique international storefront, which provides support for complete sales cycle and allows companies to quickly and economically establish an international presence."
He continued that the company had received interest from VARs and distributors since it announced its plans on 1 March this year, and planned to generate revenues from each transaction undertaken.
"It's expensive for them to build their own Web brand, so they are coming to us and we are discussing how they might approach it. We can carry their products in our storefront," he said.
The One Galaxy Marketplace lists the price of each software title in local currencies rather than US dollars, and once a customer has submitted credit card payment information to it, the data is transmitted to Wells Fargo, which then checks with the bank that issued the customer's credit card for funds verification and authorisation.
Once approval is given, Wells Fargo settles the transaction with the cardholder's account in their local currency and simultaneously settles with One Galaxy Marketplace in US dollars at the established exchange rate for that particular day and time.
After the purchase has been authorised and the product delivered, consumers find the sum, still in their own local currency, listed as the "amount due" on their monthly credit card bill.
Takano said: "Offering pricing in yen and pounds rather than dollars eliminates confusion and currency variances for the Internet consumer."
IDC estimates that the European market, which is the second largest outside of the US in terms of Internet services spending, will grow to $10.8 billion by 2002 from $826 million in 1997.
The Japanese market will also grow to $4.6 billion by 2002 from $326 million in 1997, however, making it the third largest in the world.
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