As the global leader in digital payments, Visa has long empowered financial institutions, merchants, and rising fintechs alike to make payments convenient for their customers. The company recently partnered with Hatch to introduce the Visa Fintech Initiative in Sri Lanka, a series of webinars connecting local startups with Visa. It showcased how its vast array of solutions can enhance existing fintech propositions in the market. Among these sessions was one focused on eCommerce featuring the Head of Cybersource India and South Asia, Rahul Choube, who was later joined by the Founder and CEO of PickMe, Zulfer Jiffry. The session discussed the global and local eCommerce trends and how fintechs can grow and be successful in Sri Lanka.
How Visa empowers fintechs to provide better services and grow
The session began by highlighting four key areas fintech companies need to focus on. These critical areas are – sustainable business growth, improving customer experience across all channels, creating a safe payment ecosystem, and enabling innovation for the future. These are all areas where Visa and its subsidiary Cybersource use their experience and knowledge to help their fintech partners. Given the rapid shift in consumer habits over the past few years, having the backing of such experienced partners greatly helps fintechs in seizing rising market opportunities.
The shifting tides of consumer habits regionally and locally.
While the nation is moving on from the aftermath of the pandemic, one cannot deny the uptick seen by the Commerce sector, as nationwide lockdowns and safety regulations caused a major shift in how we made our payments and purchases. Consumers also look for speed, convenience, and security in their buying behavior. These are inherent features of eCommerce; hence, we see consumers increasingly use eCommerce.
Further, BNPL schemes open the door for people to make purchases without creating a sudden large dent in their liquidity, making it an attractive alternative. Similarly, super apps, which are capable of doing the functions of multiple apps in one, are now proving to be an additional point for search, discovery, and purchase. These apps often start by offering one service and evolve to offer various others. These are all important trends at a very broad level that need to be tracked and studied as a fintechs evolves its strategy.
Lessons from Visa on formulating an eCommerce strategy
Growing a business is all about continuous improvement. Hence, responding to consumer demand is essential for a business to grow. Hence, payment options, easy processes, transaction speed, installment plans, and security are key points fintechs can focus on when formulating their business strategies. As fintechs improve their services, they can pay attention to mitigating risks, ensuring customer loyalty, gaining more revenue, data integrity, and, eventually, international expansion.
Visa and Cybersource are partnering with local fintechs and offering solutions to help them achieve their strategic goals. Cybersource offers better flexibility with its cloud-based payment platform, better adaptability with its token management service and modular payments solutions, and better insights with its intelligent, customized risk and fraud management system.
The discussion turned to how eCommerce evolved in Sri Lanka, hoping it will help the current fintechs. Speaking from their experiences, both speakers noted that partnering with a bank that’s looking to innovate and will support you is crucial for the growth of any fintech. They also pointed out that people are now more comfortable entering and saving their card details on websites and apps. This trust, in turn, means that tightening security is crucial as technological advancements also create advanced means to commit fraud.
Looking at the future of eCommerce in Sri Lanka
Looking towards the future of eCommerce in Sri Lanka, there’s vast untapped potential. Several global applications can be translated into the Sri Lankan landscape. This possibility presents opportunities for local fintechs to make headway toward developing the sector. Historically, digitising any system might have left a segment of people behind. Today, the QR-based fuel pass shows digitisation can be inclusive. This phenomenon proves Sri Lanka is ready, and the people are willing to participate in a digital ecosystem, including purchasing products and services online.