"People don’t want to pay for things They just want to buy things.”
This conversation is about the ridging the divisions that the pandemic is revealing
Chapter 2 Digital Payments
Equinix,Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX) connects the world’s leading businesses to their customers, employees and partners inside the most interconnected data centers. On this global platform for digital business, companies come together across more than 50 markets on five continents to reach everywhere, interconnect everyone and integrate everything they need to create their digital futures.
Covid-19 precipitated an almost instant increase in demand for digital payments as well as digital communications and other digital services like e-commerce and online banking.
All parties in the payments ecosystem had to adapt and this was true locally, regionally and globally.
Customers had limited need to make cash and card payments in the real world as they were isolating at home.
Players with agile infrastructure could cope with the increased digital volume; others had congestion issues that served customers poorly with a sub-optimal experience such as screen freezes and outages.
The pandemic has exposed divisions in society and in business. There are generational differences in payment preferences as older people are used to cash but younger people live on their phone. There is a technological divide between businesses reliant on legacy tech versus those that are cloud-native. There is also a divide between the financially/digitally excluded and the included.
Cloud plays an important role in closing the gaps. It provides agile, scalable and 24/7 availability to new operating models that can support and drive innovation.
Cloud availability is a currently a key issue as is the regulatory environment and whether it is appropriately enabling.
Pulling together and achieving regulatory convergence
Interdisciplinary knowledge is crucial right now due to the requirement for interconnectivity, in other words, payments serve a world that expects instant, open and ubiquitous access on demand.
Interconnectivity is predicated upon certain foundational digital tools, namely:
- Digital literacy, and
Changes to regulation are complicated by the multi-stakeholder landscape within payments:
- Deposit taking / clearing banks
- Central bank / government, and
- Society as a whole
Regulators may struggle to gain sufficient understanding in order to update their policy frameworks with modern language that accommodates marketplace innovations. For example, asset management guidelines may be written in terms of delegated capex spending authority for “a computer” or some other piece of hardware rather than being a procurement guideline that authorises an opex spend for a subscription. Without the necessary updates to internal policies, banks cannot easily procure cloud computing services.
Appropriate regulatory and policy frameworks are also needed as enablers of financial inclusion.
Lim May Ann
Public Policy Analyst, Govt Reg Affairs Research, WEF Global Future Council, experienced conference speaker & moderator
May-Ann is the Managing Director of research consultancy TRPC Pte Ltd, and is concurrently the Executive Director of the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA).
She has extensive experience in public policy, technology policy development, and government relations communications across the Asia Pacific, and has worked with many global, regional, and local organisations such as APEC, ASEAN, PECC, the ACCA, and the Asia Internet Coalition (AIC), on thought leadership development, government outreach and stakeholder engagement efforts, such as the development of the ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020.
She was appointed to the Singapore Data Protection Appeal Panel 2019-2021, and also sits on various task forces, such as the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Digital ASEAN Taskforce, the Data & Jurisdiction Team for the Internet & Jurisdiction Policy Network, and has served as Exco member for the Internet Society (ISOC) Singapore Chapter.
Her career has spanned global, regional and local institutions, including the World Bank, World Vision, the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), and the Singapore Internet Project. Based in Singapore, May-Ann also lectures on InfoComm Policy in the Department of Communications and New Media at her alma mater, the National University of Singapore (NUS).
Advisory Board Member
Business Development Director Financial Services, Asia Pacific Equinix.
Mary is responsible for building new relationships and creating interconnection opportunities across multiple industry verticals to develop the Equinix Digital Commerce Ecosystem in Asia.
She would describe her job like this, “Equinix is in a unique position where our financial services clients know us for our network of carrier neutral data centers that protect and store their data; what we are only just beginning to uncover is the huge potential that we can offer in connecting them securely to the cloud, and even more interesting, to each other. We are perfectly positioned to help companies in the digital commerce ecosystem leverage new business models and position themselves for future capabilities.
Her job is to make introductions between the players so that the interconnection can happen and they can in turn deliver an enhanced user experience.