Podcast: AirAsia and Payoneer Speak About the Digital Evolution in APAC

Podcast: AirAsia and Payoneer Speak About the Digital Evolution in APAC

by February 10, 2022

The evolution of digital transformation in APAC, accelerated by the pandemic and globalisation has been unprecedented in the last few years.

To navigate this new world, and to shed more light on this topic, payments firm Payoneer partnered with the Digital Transformation & Leadership Podcast by Danny Levy, to talk about APACs’ digital evolution with insights from AirAsia and Payoneer.

Featuring Mohamad Hafidz, Head of Payments & Financial Services at AirAsia and Nagesh Devata, APAC Regional VP & Head of Enterprise at Payoneer, this podcast episode got behind the scenes with these business leaders to understand how they are digitally transforming their companies, the technology tools they’re using, their predictions for 2022 and what digital transformation could look like in the times to come.

Payoneer’s Nagesh Devata speaks about the shift in the digital transformation narrative

Prior to joining Payoneer in 2020, Nagesh Devata oversaw PayPal’s Southeast Asia business and International Cross Border Channel portfolio.

With Mastercard, Nagesh led the Asia Pacific acceptance, acquiring and strategic merchant business. In both past roles he was actively involved in the transformation of digital payments and commerce.

When asked about the evolution of digital transformation, he shared how everyone wants to talk about the subject now, though it wasn’t the case even a couple of years ago.

What the pandemic has done is accelerated the urgency with which companies adopt digital, use it as a part of their everyday vocabulary and consider it to be business must-have rather than a good to have.

While the narrative has shifted towards digital transformation now, it wasn’t the case a couple of years ago.

The pandemic has accelerated the urgency with which companies have adopted digital and made it central to their business growth.

What has also accelerated, beyond anything else, is the customer expectation to interact digitally with businesses, globally.

If we look into the world of payments, we can clearly see this shift at play.

Small merchants, freelancers and e-commerce players are all realising they need to have a strong digital acquisition and payments strategy to tap into a global business opportunity and retain existing customers.

Cross-border payments can be quite complicated to figure out and not getting the formula right means SMEs lose out on business.

How to figure out what is right payments platform for your business remains a challenge, and this is where SMEs need to research and look at it from the lens of customer experience and empowerment, business enablement and how it can help them convert new customers.

Nagesh Devata Payoneer

Nagesh Devata

The next step is about evaluating if they need to buy or build their own tools.

“In 10 years from now we’re going to look back and think how the last two years impacted the whole concept of digital transformation and how digital awareness really became something that came to the forefront.”

said Nagesh Devata, SVP APAC at Payoneer.



AirAsia’s Mo Hafidz shared about the payments space in APAC

Mohamad “Mo” Hafidz has worked in various aspects of payment technology and business development throughout his 20+ year career, including roles at Mastercard and Visa.

He has specialised in the payments space in the Asia Pacific region and has been a large proponent of enterprise fraud management solutions.

He spoke about the burgeoning fintech opportunity and the evolving role of finance in an increasingly digital and decentralised world.

Mo Hafidz AirAsia

Mo Hafidz

“The biggest transformation trend of 2021 has been banks realizing they can’t do it all and a bridging of the gap between fintech players and banks along with way bringing more sustainability and a stronger, more innovative payments ecosystem”

said Mo Hafidz, Head of Payments & Financial Services at AirAsia.

The digital transformation wave is ushering in brand new innovation and the most exciting growth stories are coming from regions that were not at the forefront of the digital transformation, but needed to become more competitive digitally, to stay relevant and in business.

SMEs represent about 90% of all businesses globally and make up about 70% of global employment.

They also come with their own unique set of challenges, so as fintech players and payments platforms grow, they will aim to design offerings around regional product preferences and features that enable businesses to run at scale and with efficiency.

We can also expect to see products that offer better financial visibility, newer solutions for the high frequency low value transactions and new integrations with traditional trusted, payment and financial partners that will adapt to the changing business needs.

As we head into 2022, educating SMEs on new payment and financial solutions remains a critical need to help them grow faster than before and evolve to a new way of running global businesses.

This podcast was brought to listeners by Payoneer.