The double-edged swords of AI and groundbreaking GPU power need to be kept under the protective sheath of heightened cybersecurity vigilance

Aaron Koh, Head, Payment Methods (APAC), Unlimit

However, the outbreak of the pandemic necessitated a shift towards digital payments as the primary mode of transaction to curb the spread of the SARS COV-2 virus. This sudden change then accelerated the adoption of digital payments significantly. Since then, other instruments and trends have evolved, such as:

    • Digital wallets: This mode of payment has emerged as the preferred payment method for e-commerce transactions in the region, accounting for about 70% of the total e-commerce transaction value. Credit and debit cards follow behind at 18%.
    • Infrastructure enhancements: The advancement of real-time, cross-border, and e-commerce infrastructure has been instrumental in driving the expansion of digital payments. Significant progress can be seen in the regional integration of national real-time payment networks, such as Singapore’s PayNow, India’s UPI, Thailand’s PromptPay, Malaysia’s Duitnow, and Indonesia’s QRIS. Additionally, global initiatives like Project Nexus by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) are working towards enabling instant cross-border payments worldwide.
    • Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): These currencies and their pilot testing have the goal of enhancing interbank settlements and improving the efficiency of financial transactions. Singapore and China are currently taking the lead in their development.
    • Quick short-term credit: : The availability of Buy Now Pay Later schemes has empowered consumers with access to short-term credit, accounting for around 4% of the online spend in the region, equivalent to a total payment volume of US$120bn.