The future and even the present is digital, whether you're a bank, a FinTech, a telecoms company, a merchant, or a consumer, the digital economy is changing everything right across the value chain. While the shifts were happening before the pandemic, but now with the catalyst of COVID-19 as a forcing function, everything has accelerated into the digital world with a surge in contactless payments, online commerce. And much of these changes are as permanent as they are rapid, in India and all over the world.
In fiscal 2020, there are already 31 billion digital transactions in India. And this year, that grew by close to 40%, which means that in the next five fiscal years, they're going to be 45 billion transactions in India, making it truly one of the most exciting and dynamic payments markets in the world. So it's not a question of whether a business needs to be digital or not, that's now essential. It's a matter of survival. And businesses will need to adjust very quickly. Consumers are becoming more and more demanding and want goods and services on demand, whenever they want and wherever they want. And they also implicitly expect the same from their payments.
Matthew Driver, Executive Vice President, Head of Services, Asia Pacific, Mastercard joined TechCircle for their third edition of Pay-IT Conclave 2021 sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel. The digital conclave was powered by Mint and was held on January 21, 2021, where besides Matthew many industry experts and torchbearers shared their insights on the digital payments ecosystem. Matthew during his keynote on 'Building decency, trust, and inclusion to drive digital transformation' quoted, "the services and solutions that will succeed after the pandemic and beyond will be the ones that deliver convenience and security digitally and reliably. That's who people want and those who fail in doing so will ultimately be abandoned."
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Trust is critical in the hyper-connected digital environment. Nowhere is this more important than in banking and payments. Ensuring these services rely on explicit consumer consent – enabling end-users to have a choice in how their data is used – is vital if the latest group of financial innovators are to create true value for consumers and businesses alike. Matthew added, "data needs to be treated like any other valuable asset. Just as people will put money only in banks they trust, they’ll provide consent only to companies that adhere to their permissions, treat their data with respect, and use it only for intended purposes."
Data has driven incredible improvements in people’s experiences with financial services over the last decade. Services that once could only be done at bank branches can be easily accessed online and people now have powerful financial information, products, and management tools at their fingertips via their mobile devices. Matthew further added, "technology can create opportunities, but it's not the solution in itself. The key is trust. Everything depends on ethics and values. If trust is not an inherent part of the design and is not clearly shown to consumers, they will not want to adopt their solutions or services, no matter how futuristic they are."
Omni-channel commerce is not just a buzzword, but it's happening now. All businesses especially SMEs must Embrace digital commerce and use technology to manage their operations, capitalize on data insights and stay close to customers. Policy changes will open up the banking system and accelerate competition further enabling the development of hyper-targeted services driving inclusive growth. Real-Time services and the prospect of multi-rail payments are truly a game-changer for B2B and B2C payments, adding new use cases to complement the already extensive use of card payments. Businesses must step up and embrace these undeniable opportunities. Otherwise, they run the risk of being left behind. Quoting Matthew on this, "as we accelerate, we must address the digital divide. Because while technology can help advance societies, it can also create barriers. So we must build in ways that close gaps rather than expand, we must think about the principles and ensure that they are in place to guide how we use these amazing new capabilities. And these principles are decency, trust, and inclusion. And these are all important because payments are all about the people who we serve." The key to the future is to create an inclusive system that benefits consumers, businesses, and communities in the broadest ways possible.
For more details and insights on this keynote and the Pay-IT Conclave 2021, visit payit.techcircle.in