By 2030, the world’s population is estimated to surpass 8 billion. Population growth is going to have a massive impact on the global payments ecosystem by altering the dynamics of purchasing power. By 2030, two-thirds of the global middle class will reside in Asia Pacific, their level of consumption will have increased five times, and they will spend more than the rest of the world combined.
Technology companies like MasterCard will continue to innovate so that the payments ecosystem can meet the growing demands of this emergent segment of the population, who desire secure, safe, and simple ways to purchase products and manage their money. And technology can also help address issues linked to supporting growing economies and aging populations.
The use of cash, which is still significant in many Asia Pacific countries, comes at a high cost. Innovation in electronic payments can deliver a more cost effective way of distributing payments and benefits, greater transaction transparency, and increased access to financial services.
Around the world, MasterCard is demonstrating to national governments how electronic payments can enable economic growth and create a more financially inclusive economy.
In emerging markets, governments in particular have the opportunity to leverage on the younger and more technologically-savvy population by offering e-payments. Malaysia recently announced that it is going to roll out an e-payments system for sending and receiving fees on smartphones and tablets. And India’s government is already experimenting with biometric technology to deliver government benefits to citizens of all ages.
While no two countries are identical, if Asia Pacific is going to both power the world’s economy and drive its consumption, there is one thing we will need to do region-wide: and that is to embrace technology.
As a global technology company, MasterCard’s role is to innovate so that participants in the payment ecosystem are empowered and enabled. We’ve already started to see the power of technology across the region from both developed and less developed countries, where people are utilizing technology to purchase what they need in a safe, secure, and convenient way. Our job will to be keep innovating to meet the growing demand of the world’s consumers. And we look forward to that challenge.
This first appeared in BankIT Asia on 9 April 2015.