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    • Digital Adoption

Digital payments – faster, more transparent, and at scale

  • Article

Digital payments are becoming more sophisticated, with smarter functionality that allows treasurers to process domestic and international transfers faster and at scale.

Smart phone payment

The digital revolution has transformed business models across Asia-Pacific. Ecommerce platforms and other online businesses expect high levels of speed, transparency and stability that combine to create a compelling user experience.

Payments are now part of this end-to-end online journey for customers and an organisation’s business partners. Without the right digital payment solutions in place, a company will find it hard to meet the evolving demands of its customers.

Speed, convenience and scale

To support the growth of digital business models, regulators have upgraded financial infrastructure to enable payments to become instant. This payment infrastructure, supported by technologies like QR codes that simplify the payment process also helps drive innovation, promote financial inclusion, and reduces the use of cash in the economy.

As the leading transaction bank in Asia-Pacific1, HSBC actively works with regulators to offer our customers the ability to process Real Time Payments (RTP) across 12 markets across the region2. In a tech-driven economy, where smartphones are used to do everything from ordering a taxi to buying groceries, digital payments are now an integral part of day-to-day life.

Businesses that operate via digital and ecommerce platforms are at the forefront of this trend, as RTPs are often built into these applications and apps via APIs. This is equally true for the global platforms, as well as the up-and-coming providers. A food-delivery service for example, can leverage HSBC’s RTP network and Application Programming Interface (APIs) to pay their drivers on demand.

Mobilising payments in the digital age (Infographic)

As RTPs become part of everyday life, companies are processing higher volumes of low value payments. Treasurers need financial partners that can support this exponential growth in transaction volumes, without comprising any of the speed, responsiveness and stability.

In addition to helping organisations improve their digital experience, RTPs provide a diverse range of operational benefits. Payment reconciliation is an area that is improved significantly by these new payment methods, which can be automated and completed in real-time. This reduces a company’s operational overheads, improves working capital and reduces financial risk, while allowing cash to be more efficiently deployed.

Paying across borders

There is a corresponding rise in innovation for cross-border payments, which have traditionally been slower, less transparent and more expensive than paying a business domestically.

But major improvements to the financial infrastructure across Asia-Pacific is making international payments feel similar to domestic payments, in terms of both convenience and cost.

Again, technology companies are driving some of the innovation within international payments, as they often need to make and receive payments from partners located in many geographies. In the past, this would have been a challenge as high transactions costs at volume makes the business model less viable.

Nowadays, rapid international payments are readily available for technology companies. An online video platform for example, can pay large numbers of content creators located in many countries – significant sums for very popular influencers, but typically relatively small payments to most creators. Ecommerce companies who sell across borders are able to handle payments from all over the world, and quickly process refunds when necessary.

Bulk cross-border payment solutions, like HSBC’s Global Disbursements, allow businesses to pay beneficiaries across the world, using a wide range of currencies. Cost savings can be made through lower transaction fees and also by taking advantage of bulk currency exchange rates.

When it comes to transparency, SWIFTgpi is a new standard for international transfers that lets banks, and their corporate customers, know where a payment is at any given time. Businesses can track their money until it reaches the payee, which means less time is spent checking on the status of a payment.

HSBC incorporates SWIFTgpi into its cross-border payments, providing visibility on the transaction so that the paying party always knows the status of an international payment, no matter where it is in the world. Additional services, such as HSBCnet Track Payments, allows a finance team to see all of the company’s payment activity at a glance and quickly decide if any action is required.

Finding the right partner

Rapid technological change is driving a revolution in digital payments, with significant improvements in both domestic and international transfers. Treasurers, FinTechs and ecommerce players alike can take advantage of this exciting wave of innovation by working with a financial partner that provides a comprehensive payments offering. At HSBC, we always listen to our clients and continuously invest to develop advanced solutions that leverage technology to support their needs in both domestic and international markets.

To find out more, please contact your relationship manager.

Need help?

For more information, please contact your HSBC representative.