Categories: Payments Innovation

Digital Innovation Is Fueling The Reemergence Of Business

“The digital economy is here, and those payment providers that are global, digital and fully resilient will lead the reemergence.”

“Robust operational resilience is now a non-negotiable component of any business engagement,” according to Manish Kohli, global head of payments and receivables, Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions. “By the very nature of our industry and regulatory requirements, banks have made resilience a core competency. This will continue to be a critical and fundamental area for any payment provider, large or small.”

The following is an excerpt from How 35 Execs Are Powering The Great Digital Shift Of 2020 (And Beyond), contributed by Manish Kohli, global head of payments and receivables, Citi Treasury and Trade Solutions.

To say these are unprecedented times would be a gross understatement. Never before have we faced a scenario in which our clients, the market infrastructure, our vendors and all of our own teams are operating in a sustained contingency mode. For the majority of us, a walk downstairs in the morning has become the new commute.

There is no doubt that much has changed in a very short period of time. Some have even suggested that the pandemic is promoting an increasingly nationalistic approach to business, and that globalization is on the wane. However, we believe the reality is far more nuanced.

While some businesses are looking to source goods and materials closer to home, in most cases the efficiency, diversity and effectiveness of the globalized economy has never been more important. And the strength of the payments infrastructure has proven resilient in the face of this adversity, while others have not.o say these are unprecedented times would be a gross understatement. Never before have we faced a scenario in which our clients, the market infrastructure, our vendors and all of our own teams are operating in a sustained contingency mode. For the majority of us, a walk downstairs in the morning has become the new commute.

As countries around the world begin to carefully reopen their economies, we are starting to see several important trends emerge:

Acceleration to Digital

Back before conversations were dominated by talk of COVID-19, the buzz was all about digital transformation. What started as a progressive adoption of digital channels and the consequent erosion of analog processes has now resulted in a race to eliminate paper. Digital processes are invariably transferable to a remote working environment, while paper processes are not. As a result, our focus on eliminating paper and enhancing the client experience is sharper than ever.

The pandemic has also refocused client demand on doing business through digital-only solutions. This has accelerated an expected trend. As of today, clients are leveraging more than 50 unique APIs to connect. There has been tremendous usage on an annual basis between March 2019 and March 2020, with API volumes multiplying four times.

Growing Criticality of Resilience

In the face of the sweeping nature of the ongoing global disruption over the past three months, businesses of all shapes and sizes have had their resilience put to the test. Robust operational resilience is now a non-negotiable component of any business engagement. By the very nature of our industry and regulatory requirements, banks have made resilience a core competency. This will continue to be a critical and fundamental area for any payment provider, large or small.

A Flight to Network

Now more than ever, clients are placing a premium on gaining a deeper view of the network. Because business is often conducted across so many different parts of the world, many companies struggle to keep up with regional restrictions and regulations, especially during a crisis. This has led many to see the advantages of working with a single banking partner who can provide a global window into the world of payments. The ability to tap into both global and local expertise has become more valuable in this time of marketplace unpredictability, volatility and rapid change.

As the global economy reawakens from its forced slumber, things have changed – we will work differently, sell differently and buy differently. The digital economy is here, and those payment providers that are global, digital and fully resilient will lead the reemergence.

Read more executives’ insights on the COVID-19 crisis in How 35 Execs Are Powering The Great Digital Shift Of 2020 (And Beyond).

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