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Evolving Habits, Technology Drives Online Habits

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

At the roundtable, Julian Potter, Visa’s group country manager for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, said he remains bullish as technology makes the world a smaller place.

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

“We put more things within reach of more people,” he said. “Usually a small or micro business serves people who come to the facility, but now he can operate 24/7, ship goods and services, and accept payments online. increase.

Technology has changed not only how we interact with our employees, but also how we interact with our customers, whether large companies like Visa or small businesses. “

Even better, the exponential growth of digital commerce shows no signs of abating, even as consumers return to brick-and-mortar stores after the pandemic. That’s because as we become more connected, more and more things can be accessed online, including shopping, streaming entertainment, and accessing services ranging from healthcare to local government.

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

Roundtable participant Ciyi Lim said the pandemic has forced people online as they are stuck indoors, but they are staying online even as society opens up again. Lim, head of innovation for Visa’s Asia Pacific region, said that as more people move online, their relationship with the digital world is evolving rapidly.

“Back in the early ’90s when we had Web1, the static web, Web1 was really a one-way library, just reading information published online,” she said. “Today, we are at or nearing the peak of the Web2 or social web, where platforms, marketplaces and social networks like Google, Meta, Airbnb, manage and monetize data. It sits in the middle of a two-way network that serves content.”

Ciyi Lim, Head of Innovation for Asia Pacific at Visa, said: Jeremy Piper

And what I learned with Web2 is the power of data and how it can be used to create highly personalized customer experiences.

For Lim, that powerful data flow has been largely controlled by technology behemoths such as Google, Amazon and Meta, but “the sprouts of Web3 are emerging that see a shift from a centralized model to a more decentralized model. It is slowly changing as you see. .

“It’s where users can control their content and data, and we do this through new technologies like distributed ledgers, blockchain, and smart contracts,” said Lim.

Roundtable participant Mark Hansell, chief product officer at digital financial services provider Shaype, said that technology

Payments democratized and transfer of value.

“Barriers to entry into the payments space have dropped significantly over the past decade, largely due to technology and emerging technologies. It will increase functionally.”

Hansell said end customers don’t care whether they pay for goods and services in fiat currency, such as Australian dollars, or in digital currency. The current challenge was moving between ecosystems. “As e-commerce evolves, we see seamless conversion behind the scenes with integration partners such as Shape.”

Damir Cuca, CEO and founder of data aggregation platform Basiq, is excited about the possibilities of open banking. This allows consumers to share their financial data with third parties.

He said all banks should publish data on consumers and share that data with third parties with consumer consent.

“This is incredibly groundbreaking. Our bank accounts effectively leave a trail of exactly what we like, our preferences, and everything else.”

Visa’s Lim says the future of digital commerce will boil down to three major trends. The availability of data not only for personalization but also in a predictive sense makes commerce more seamless in our daily lives. And the advent of Web3 and the explosion of (digital) goods we don’t yet know.

But getting there will require businesses to truly embrace the concept of trust in a digital world, says Visa’s Potter. He said, “Before we are ready to open up, we have to trust something. It’s going to be very important as we move forward.”