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Article10 Aug 2023

Evolution of Payments and Receivables in Asia

From instant payments to QR codes and APIs, the payments landscape in Asia Pacific is changing rapidly – and the role of the treasurer is evolving accordingly.
From instant payments to QR codes and APIs, the payments landscape in Asia Pacific is changing rapidly – and the role of the treasurer is evolving accordingly, says Citi’s Sanjeev Jain.
 
The payments landscape in Asia Pacific (APAC) has evolved rapidly in the last few years. As Sanjeev Jain, Payments and Receivables
Head for APAC at Citi, observes, “I’ve been in the industry for 25 years, and the speed of change in the last five years has been phenomenal.”
 
For one thing, says Jain, payments in Asia Pacific previously revolved around high value, low volume B2B transactions, with a focus on wire, automated clearing house (ACH) and cheque payments. All that started to change with the rise of e-commerce, although as Jain notes, banking and payment systems were not initially able to match the 24/7 nature of e-commerce.
 
“In the last five or six years, we’ve seen significant progress driven by regulators and banks,” he adds. “Almost all Asian countries now operate some sort of 24/7 payments system, and that was a necessity – you can’t have commerce seven days a week if banking is only available five days a week.”

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