The world of payments has never been so exciting. Digital payments are gaining significant traction and smart innovation is gathering pace. In the 24/7/365 world of commerce, treasurers have an opportunity to leverage these developments to help their organisation gain a competitive advantage, says Atul Bhuchar, Group Head of Payments, DBS.
Eleanor Hill, Editor, TMI (EH): In what ways has Covid-19 impacted payments and how have corporate treasurers adapted?
Atul Bhuchar (AB): The world is facing a health crisis and an economic one, resulting in a threat to both lives and livelihoods. At the same time, the pandemic has been an important catalyst for change, especially in the payments space. There has been a structural shift from the ‘before Covid’ [BC] world to the ‘after Covid’ [AC] era as consumers and businesses have embraced digital payments and e-commerce.
Indeed, digital solutions have proven themselves vital for businesses’ fitness in the AC world. Bricks-and-mortar businesses have pivoted to e-channels to reach their customers. Meanwhile, sectors such as hospitality are rethinking their customer contact strategies in order to support business growth in a socially-distanced world.
The key question is whether this change in behaviour is irreversible. Once clients experience the convenience of carrying out transactions digitally, they are unlikely to go back to manual processes. A recent McKinsey study revealed that 75% of people using digital channels for the first time said they will continue to do so when things return to normal.