The tides are beginning to turn. The barriers towards digital payments in India are getting cleared and owing to rapid back-end innovation, corporate payments scenario is beginning to change.
India has started weaving its story already as the commercial payments space in the country is undergoing a major transformation. There is a visible buzz about consumer payments-related fintech and innovation in the commercial space.
Digitisation of corporate payments in India is leading to seamless modelling of payments, income flows, scheduling, timing of payments, etc. For businesses, it is changing end-to-end payment processing, thereby, saving time, money, managing work flow, becoming efficient and minimizing error.
In a round-table organised by CNBC TV18 in association with American Express on “Reimagining Corporate Payments”, all aspects of payments systems and solutions were touched upon. The event was attended by the CFOs across industries including telecom, IT, manufacturing, textile, and packaging.
The event, aimed at reaching out to the CFOs to set a brave business transformation agenda, saw dignitaries talking about corporate payments space, mega trends, opportunities and strategies needed to help India Inc ride the next wave of reform, and drive high performance and business value.
In his address, Manoj Adlakha, Senior Vice President & CEO, American Express Banking Corp., India, said there is a huge interest in commercial payments ecosystem.
“Emerging trends in corporate payments range from credit capacity to security of data, which is mission critical to all of us, and importantly solutions that are mobile-first that are frictionless to us. For businesses, end to end payment processes are manual and costly – so saving time and money are high priorities,” said Adlakha.
He also pointed out at the new role of CFOs, which has changed. “The emerging role is strategic. CFOs are now inextricably involved in enabling business strategies and innovating. They are becoming business partners with other top executives to drive organisation growth,” he said.
It is worth mentioning that American Express is one of the leaders to adapt to the digital transformation. American Express, which serves 3.3 million businesses globally, is making end-to-end payments seamless, faster and with secured data.
It provides its customers with rich and insightful data on consumer which can be integrated to provide economical advantage to corporate.
American Express has an advantage over other players in the market through its unique closed loop network which not only ensures rich data quality, but also security and speed.
American Express concentrates on removing inefficiencies in the payment chain of corporate, government and customers, thus, driving savings.They are adhering to policy, using big data and automated tracking. It enhances a business’ cost management with flexible billing and payment systems, increase compliance and spend visibility.
Meanwhile, in a case study presentation, Saru Kaushal, Vice President & Country Business Head, Global Commercial Payments, American Express Banking Corp., India, encapsulated how the company is driving savings, weeding out inherited efficiency, etc.
“We endeavour to solve a multiple issues with companies. We work alongside them to solve account payable issues, we work to enable transparency, visibility in compliance and drive savings by creating expense management solutions. We also work through the account receivable chain,” said Kaushal.
She also spoke about digital solutions to an array of challenges and gave examples how American Express helped a company to save whopping $2 million.
The event saw discussion on various digital modes that can be utilised to save costs and drive profits and how technologies such as automation and blockchain are changing the ecosystem, creating value for buyer and supplier.
“Digital payment is transferring money electronically at a great speed and with low cost. It is a big move away from cash-based transactions. This jump from cash to digital transactions requires confidence in supplier as well as buyer,” said former RBI deputy governor, R. Gandhi, who was present at the event.
To maintain this confidence, technology plays an important role. “Banks and non-banks are in race to provide best services. There are many systems for enterprises to make payments seamless,” he said.
Gandhi said enterprises are using API to note customer behaviour, preferences, etc., which is helping them to refine services.
Meanwhile, a technology such as blockchain is not only become pertinent for businesses, but also the government and regulators.
“Blockchain is nothing but distributed ledger where transactions get recorded across the network in any number of computer/server nodes and it cannot be modified easily,” said Gandhi.
It is a growing list of transactions and every block is inter-linked through crypto technology. It secures data of supplier and customer and there can be no meddling.
American Express has introduced instant blockchain-based payments using Ripple, a fintech start-up. This marks one of the first major uses of blockchain, a shared database of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet that is best known as the system underpinning bitcoin.
The need for innovative and efficient corporate payment solutions and expense management processes hold the potential of transforming business outcomes and savings for the organizations
To learn how American Express can help streamline your payments, click here and get started.The following article is an initiative of American Express and is intended to create awareness among the readers.