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Changing habits, technology drives online habits

Against this backdrop, The Australian Financial Review recently co-hosted the Digital Commerce Surge Roundtable with financial services giant Visa to discuss the growth of digital commerce and the evolution of businesses and consumers in the digital age.

Speaking at the roundtable, Visa Group Country Director for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, Julian Potter, said he remained optimistic as technology makes the world smaller.

Visa Group Country Director for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, Julian Potter. Jeremy Piper

“It puts more things within reach of more people,” he said. “Typically, a small or micro business would serve people coming to their premises and now they can be open for business 24/7 and they can ship their goods and services and accept payments online.

Technology has transformed the way we interact not only with our own employees, but also with our customers, whether large entities such as Visa or small and medium-sized businesses.

Specifically, the exponential growth of digital commerce shows no signs of slowing, even as consumers return to physical stores post-pandemic. The reason for this is that as we become more connected, the more things we can access online – whether it’s shopping, streaming entertainment, or accessing services ranging from healthcare to local government.

“In fact, according to Euromonitor, digital commerce will be worth around $2 trillion per year in the Asia-Pacific region by 2025,” Potter said.

Ciyi Lim, another panellist, said the pandemic had caused people to go online because they couldn’t go out, but even though society is opening up again, they have stayed online. Lim, who leads innovation for Visa in the Asia-Pacific region, said with more and more people migrating online, our relationship with the digital world is changing rapidly.

“In the early 90s, with Web1, the static web, it was really a one-way library, where we went online and read the information that was published,” she said. “Now we are at or near the pinnacle of the Web2 or Social Web where platforms, marketplaces and social networks, like Google, Meta, Airbnb and more, sit in the middle of two-way networks managing and monetizing data and contents.”

Ciyi Lim, Head of Innovation, Asia-Pacific, Visa. Jeremy Piper

And what we’ve learned with Web2 is the power of data and how it can be used to hyper-personalize the customer experience.

For Lim, this powerful stream of data has been mostly controlled by tech behemoths like Google, Amazon and Meta, but that’s slowly changing as we “see the green shoots of Web3 emerging where there’s a pattern shift.” centralized to a more distributed model”. .

“A place where the user can take control of their content and data and we are doing this through new technologies such as distributed ledgers, blockchain and smart contracts,” Lim said.

Mark Hansell, panellist and chief product officer of digital financial services provider Shaype, said technology has enabled the world to

payments and the transfer of value to democratize.

“Barriers to entry into the payments space have fallen significantly over the past 10 years, primarily due to technology and new emerging technologies. Right now you can count the ways to move money on a hand, but as we go this is going to multiply exponentially. »

Hansell said the end customer does not care how they pay for their goods or services, whether in fiat currency like the Australian dollar or a digital currency. The current challenge was transfer between ecosystems. “As e-commerce evolves, we’ll see conversion happen seamlessly behind the scenes with integration partners like Shaype.”

CEO and founder of data aggregation platform Basiq, Damir Cuca, is excited about the potential of open banking as it gives consumers the ability to share their financial data with any third party.

He says each bank now had to open up the data it had about consumers and, if a consumer consented, share that data with a third party.

“It’s incredibly revolutionary because our bank accounts actually leave traces of exactly what we like, our preferences and all that.”

Visa’s Lim said the future of digital commerce comes down to three main trends: the continued explosion of digital connections and the blurring of the physical and online worlds; the availability of data not only for personalization but also in a predictive sense so that business activity becomes more transparent in our daily lives; and the emergence of Web3 and an explosion of (digital) goods that we are not even aware of yet.

Yet, Visa’s Potter says that to achieve this, businesses will have to truly embrace the concept of trust in the digital world. “You have to have faith in something before you prepare to open up – that’s going to be critically important as we move forward.”