How can businesses in eCommerce and Financial Technology adapt to the COVID-19 -led digital transformation?
If there is anything positive that the COVID-19 crisis brought us, it’s the lessons on how we’ve dealt with it individually, and as an organization.
“Circumstances don't make the man, they only reveal him to himself,” an Epictetus line that rings true in these trying times.
History has proven, pandemic or otherwise, that man learns to adapt, innovate, and overcome. And we can use this worldwide COVID-19 -led digital transformation to empower ourselves and our organizations.
How can we bring more value to our communities through FinTech and eCommerce, even long after this crisis is over?
What is a digital transformation?
Within context, digital transformation is the objective reorganizing of the company structure to make full use of current technologies, making its functions and business more resilient under any circumstances.
It’s a challenge to get real and make a thorough check on your organization. This will start from your company’s systems, your employees’ commitment, down to infrastructure investments. See which ones are reliable, and will bring in more sustainability in the long run.
Digital transformation catalyzes innovation. According to a recent Deutsche Bank survey, “The digital payment revolution is rooted in the 2008 global financial crisis. At that time, liquidity in the financial system was low, people struggled to borrow money, and distrust in the banking system grew. Since then, regulation over traditional banks has strengthened.”
This crisis will give rise to cloud-based payment platforms, as more businesses will need more practical and cost-effective technologies. Cloud payments can be accessed at any device whenever they need it. These subscriptions eliminate the burden of maintenance and security costs, and comes with customer support, all for a fixed monthly fee.
Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo said the demand for subscriptions will rise when the worst of the pandemic crisis lets up: “If you look at what happened in business, in 2001 and 2008, both times there was an acceleration of a shift — a shift to the cloud, a shift to SaaS. Why is that? Because people are realizing that having flexible subscription expenses is better than one-time cost.”
Cost-efficiency, convenience, and sustainability — that’s what all these FinTech innovations are for. It’s about making things easier for people and businesses.
Restaurants that stayed open during lockdown are forced to cut costs, retaining only their core team. One of the ways they can adapt to making things simple is to use a SaaS e-Invoicing platform.
Dealing with regular customers and multiple suppliers will be easier this way, as it eliminates the need to go through stacks of paperwork. And what do you know, this also gets rid of errors as entering double orders. This leads to accurate inventory, and zero money wasted
When all this is over, restaurants would have found an easier alternative for an otherwise tedious task.
And as social distancing rules may stay longer than expected, property owners can make things easier through KloudHouse, a white-label Property Management System that allows for all-in-one billing, payments, and maintenance services.
No physical interactions, and everything is communicated properly and accounted for.
Re-imagine and Innovate
We all have our blind sides. So, it takes an honest and open team to actually go through the company’s systems, and discuss where they fall short.
Seek self-sufficiency. Which parts of your organization can you automate, or access self-service capabilities, all-in-one?
Maj Labindao, AltPayNet CTO and Co-Founder breaks down these points:
- Payment service providers should broaden their service offerings in terms of payment options and methods. This applies especially to the paradigm shift from POS and over-the-counter payments into real time online payments.
- Payment service providers, payment institutions, and the banking sector should seek connectivity and partnerships to shift into collaborative approach to serve the public better, rather than restrictive competition.
- Opt for white-label platforms with all the capabilities, rather than re-engineering the wheel, which would take some time to develop and build.
White label payment platforms allow seamless customization, and provide all-in-one tiered functions. From call center to admin access, everything is there — a database and payment platform that businesses can access wherever, 24/7.
Seek convenience. In the Deutsche Bank survey, they found that cashless payments are born out of convenience. “Looking forward to 2025,” the survey finds, “we expect e-Wallets to be the secondmost preferred method of payments after cards and the most preferred method among millennials.”
“In Western Europe, contactless technology has been around for a decade and is now commonly used. In the UK, France and Italy, contactless payments are by far the preferred method. Over half of the people in these countries believe that contactless payments are convenient.”
This worldwide lockdown pushed for cashless payments as people stay at home and limit physical contact. Banks have encouraged clients to use their mobile banking apps, and food delivery services promote the use of card payments or e-Wallets for contactless transactions.
Going cashless extends to donation drives. Non-profit organizations can use a solution for donations as Pago de Caridad. It’s a straightforward on-page donation form that takes out the burden of investing heavily on technology infrastructures.
Pago de Caridad allows these organizations to simply focus on their programs and services, especially at this urgent time of a pandemic. It’s convenient to send cash donations via mobile or desktop.
Adapt, reimagine, and innovate. These are the ways we can overcome this crisis. And you must be willing to take this on as an individual, and as a team.
This pandemic will pass. Company initiatives in this crisis will determine the trajectory of their business long after this crisis is over.
For AltPayNet CEO and Co-Founder Don Vacal, “The Business Continuity Program should have triggered the identification of organizational vulnerabilities and development of programs to ensure that the company and delivery of its services are maintained and even made more efficient.”
Vacal notes, “Our investments in strong organizational and operational structures have paid off.”
One such effort is their recent announcement of being an Acquirer for Discover and Diners Club International. Now, their merchants and clients can start accepting Diners, Discover, and affiliate network cards wherever they are in the world. This initiative will allow their partners to have more payment options and easy cross-border transactions even at this time.
The key takeaway for businesses is to invest on SaaS, automation, and outsource payment services where they can. Not only will this build resilience, now they can make better use of their time to focus on the really important things, such as business development via sales and customer relations.
AltPayNet is an international payment service provider specializing in SaaS payments, white label payment gateway, operational consulting, risk management, and cybersecurity services and solutions.
ALTPAYNET has presence in Hong Kong, Philippines, Malta, USA and recently Malaysia. Currently, there are 20+ whitelabel payment gateway clients around the world.
Talk to us to learn more.