Edge Insights

Panel Discussion on Payments Infrastructure - Future-Proofing Payments

The financial sector is changing as never before. Open Banking, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, and cloud technologies are transforming the way people bank. Fintechs and challenger banks are widening the marketplace. The rate of change is accelerating as consumers continuously shift buying behaviors and payment preferences to keep pace with new developments globally.

The evolution of consumer payment methods continues to unfold, reshaping payments decisively around the world. This has been especially elevated during the Covid-19 pandemic where transactions have increasingly shifted online as stores have been forced to physically close. Overall, the ways we pay are affected by our cultures, habits, innovations, and the technology available to us.

However, the value of the digital transactions has increased at a disproportionate rate than the volume of digital transactions, which has triggered situations like fraud and phishing attacks. Hence, consumers and businesses are starting to demand a more secured and safe mode of payment. In 2020, the number of electronic payment transactions grew by 32%, whereas the value of digital transactions raised only by five and a half percent.

In order to scrutinize the real challenges, issues, current scenario, future trends of the Indian payments ecosystem, TechCircle organized the third edition of its 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 the industry experts and torchbearers discoursed about the future of payments industry.

Industry leaders such as Rishi Sareen, Senior Vice President, and Chief Technology Officer, Ecom Express, Sarath Chandra, Chief Information Officer, Airtel Payments Bank, Rajesh Dhar, Senior Director-Hybrid IT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise shared their insights during a discussion on Payments Infrastructure - Future-Proofing Payments. The discussion was moderated by Jaideep Mehta. The discussions included key aspects of payments infrastructure such as 100% uptime to customers,, how it's driving inclusion and scalability. The convenience of digital payments and the new types of payment mechanisms that we all have is allowing us to have the luxury of choice. Digital trust continues to be central to the development of the digital economy.

In order to make the consumers’ experience seamless, faster, and better, technologies that enable payments such as 5G network and fault-tolerant systems, can enable the users to feel secure about their data and enable transactions at a quicker pace. 
Mr. Rishi Sareen added “we've been able to drive the innovation now, it had a much better fast pace, considering that the market needed that kind of pace of innovation from our side.” His viewpoint proves to be extremely valid considering the covid19 era that called for the entire restructuring of payment infrastructure. He also talked about credible supply chain systems and blockchain systems that secure the customer’s data in a digital ledger which would, in turn, provide convenience in managing their business.

People in India prefer the traditional mode of payment as they opine that it is the only authenticated mode. Hence in order to avoid any discrepancies, they profess cash transactions. Similarly, Industry experts talk about the different mediums through which they can provide safe and secure payments at the customer’s comfort.

Quoting Mr. Sarath Chandra“challenges of fraud is something that we are very concerned about. And we are looking at a new product that we launched called safepay, which ensures that even the slightest of phishing attacks which originate while the customer is making a digital transaction with an OTP, can be protected.”

The new digitized economy demands nurturing of relationships with the customers and end consumers in order to build a sustained trust. Rajesh Dhar added, “please commit a guaranteed response and guaranteed uptime to your customers and your customers will back you. I believe our payment systems will need to instil that trust and the convenience and comfort to our customers.”

The discussion also highlighted the topics such as scale and inclusivity. The panelists spoke precisely about uplifting the rural market through digital payments. However, the major challenge that lies underneath is the absence of geographical infrastructure, financial literacy amongst the rural lot. Before building their trust, rural India needs to be provided with the mechanism to enable digital payments.  

For more details and insights on this discussion and the Pay-IT Conclave 2021, visit payit.techcircle.in