We’ve all seen the global rise of instant communication methods such as email, twitter and text messages. This push for instant-access services has resulted in consumers and corporates wanting to communicate with their bank in an equally rapid manner. While
Asia Pacific as a whole is often viewed as a little less advanced that the West. In some ways this is true, but the more developed countries in the region can offer insight for those wondering about the effects of rising demand for small rapid payments.
Asia contains some of the most advanced countries in the world, like Australia, New Zealand and Japan. In these countries, we’re increasingly seeing consumers looking for high-speed banking services as a standard. Many banks have heard this call and are
moving to adapt their payments mechanisms to meet these demands.
In Australia, bank-owned payments company BPAY is developing its Me And My Bank Online (MAMBO) project. When finished, it will allow consumers in the country to make speedy online micropayments more easily. Following this, a similar service is already being
developed by PayPal, which
doubled its APAC staff numbers last year, noting a 38% increase in APAC payments over the previous two years.
Across the water in New Zealand too, financial institutions have been modernising their high-speed payments infrastructure. ANZ – New Zealand’s largest bank – just implemented a new payments system, giving the bank centralised hub
for processing high volumes of micropayments expediently. The bank then launched its ‘GoMoney’ application for smartphones – allowing consumers to send money to each other using their mobile phone number. Applications like this certainly tap into the trend
of instant communication and are proving popular – GoMoney was downloaded over 30,000 times on its release day.
Asia Pacific institutions will need to look at how they intend to adapt their systems to cope with these changes. It’s becoming clearer now that high- and low-value are no longer useful concepts. The demand for small real-time payments further reinforces
this, and indicates to banks the need to look at payments processing in a more holistic way. Banks should also look at their back-office systems. Here in Asia, we’re used to reading stories of large banks failing due to outdated systems collapsing under the
load of payments they need to manage. This workload is just going to increase as making rapid small payments becomes ever popular. It’s not all bad news though. Those who do invest will be able to expand their product range and customer base via innovative
As with many Asian technologies, I expect this trend of high-speed mobile payments to spread to the US and Europe. Banks in these regions would do well to pay close attention to how their counterparts in the East deal with developments, and begin to prepare
themselves for the next wave of Asian innovation.