Payments systems in financial institutions in APAC have always been thought of as unsophisticated and ‘old-school’. With their reliance of paper and fax-based process it’s easy to see why. This is changing though. While those banks focused on a single domestic
market do still seem to prefer hard-copy based payment initiation, those expanding into new markets have begun to shift away from these old processes to new and more modern systems.
Why? Time delays in paper processing and payment authorisation between subsidiaries and head offices have driven this shift. Corporates live in a 24/7 world and expect their banking systems (payments being one of them) and online services to have the same
level of integration as other global multi-nationals in the region.
As such, APAC corporates are looking for platforms that enrich their information streams. Corporates are demanding their banks help them achieve a greater understanding of cash flow across their operations, balances and loans outstanding. For payments, particularly
in the SME market, the most pressing requirement is for notification of incoming payments or receipt of payment by a counterparty via SMS and email alert.
As the region continues its shift in its banking infrastructure, modern and sophisticated payments processes are crucial to boost corporate effectiveness. As I see it, modernising payment infrastructures is not just a strategic approach to bring these organisations
closer into line with their global counterparts, but a necessity for delivering payments as quickly and efficiently as possible.