In the past year, mobility restrictions around the world quickened the pace of the shift to digital and online channels for all types of commercial transactions. This, coupled with investment in digital infrastructure and growth in numbers of smartphone users in recent years created the perfect environment for business and society to reap the benefits.
70% of the global population is expected to be subscribed to mobile services by 2025, and 61% will be mobile internet users. By then, smartphones will be adopted by 81% of the population in Asia Pacific by 2025, and 79% in Latin America.[i] As lockdowns and social distancing restrictions swept the world last year, the high penetration of mobile services and smart phones allowed a rapid acceleration of the adoption of digital solutions by businesses and consumers.
While digitalization was already successfully driving the transformation of business, the events of 2020 created a step change. According to consultants Bain & Company, stronger digital foundations could contribute an additional $1 trillion to the GDP of ASEAN alone by 2025[ii].
Digitalization of business driving economic growth
With increasing efforts by government and private sector partnerships to promote financial inclusion and digitalization of payments, at least one silver lining arising from the recent challenges is that there is now more business and consumer appetite to leverage digital solutions for affordable, accessible, and fast cross-border payments. Global cross-border e-commerce volume increased from 22 billion in 2019 to 26 billion in 2020, and is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 14% over the next five years, exceeding the growth of domestic e-commerce (9%), according to fintech research firm Kaleido Intelligence[iii].
In order for the payments industry to encourage digitally driven economic growth, digitalization of businesses is absolutely crucial. There is also a need to upgrade and extend the international payments infrastructure, support business innovation, and consumer education. At UniTeller, we are pleased to be partnering with businesses around the world to deliver some of the most innovative and secure business solutions that are fueling this digital revolution. We offer Money Transfer Operators, corporations, banks, and retailers end-to-end integration support to enable both businesses and individuals to move funds internationally and instantaneously.
Robust and integrated payment systems
Digitalization of business offers choice to consumers, opportunity to businesses, and provides society with a path to greater economic growth and prosperity.
There is still much to be done to increase access to digital solutions for business. There needs to be adequate digital infrastructure and payment networks in both origination and destination countries, as well as user confidence and competence to embrace new technologies and innovations.
Collecting payments in multiple markets is one of the biggest pain points for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) growing abroad. UniTeller’s innovative and secure solutions facilitate cross-border payments and with a network spanning over 70 countries and more than 175,000 payment locations worldwide, we are uniquely placed to enable businesses to expand and grow across multiple geographies.
New high-tech players are already capitalizing heavily on this trend. By adopting UniTeller’s Turnkey White Label and API solutions and integrations, our partners are able to fully leverage the shift to digital. By implementing our solutions into their existing business models, our partners can swiftly process remittances while eliminating friction points. As a result, they are able to expand their customer database and offer their customers seamless and secure cross border payment services, virtually instant real-time transactions, and lower fees.
Looking to the future…
Given the upswing in sentiments around the world due to the availability of vaccines, as well as the receptiveness of consumers, we expect digital transactions to further accelerate and gain momentum.
And while strong digital infrastructure and robust international payment networks are key to fostering innovation and driving the digitalization of business globally, to fully capture the enormous potential of the digital economy to transform businesses, the public and private sectors need to work together to put in place the infrastructure and create access to robust international payment systems, particularly for SMEs.
In an increasingly uncertain world, people, businesses, banks and governments need to be able to rely on secure, robust and standardized payment systems that enable cross-border trade and economic growth. As an organization, we continue to drive this transformation by facilitating and simplifying the interactions between consumers, businesses and financial institutions.