October 27, 2017
Cash may still be king in Southeast Asia, but blockchain technology could soon change that. Blockchain and FinTech solutions focused on compliance are primed to transform the way people and companies pay for goods and services. Infinity Blockchain Labs attended the e2e Conference in Jakarta last week to discuss the technology’s benefits with representatives from across the region’s economic sectors.
Southeast Asia is home to some of the world’s most rapidly developing economies as well as some of the largest cash-based and mostly bankless societies. As this financial landscape evolves, it becomes increasingly important to examine areas for improvement. Technological advancements in digital economies are one of the most critical areas in assuring the region continues to grow.
e2e is a conference and exhibition that focused on accelerating digital economies. It aims to bring together key players to encourage conversations on strategic and operational issues and help bring forth advanced system solution for brands & retailers, eCommerce / marketplace operators and fulfillment and logistics players. During the two day event, panel and speech topics included “Using Technology to Engage and Delight Today’s Customers,” “Implementing Multichannel Infrastructure and Technology,” “Offline to Online and Online of Offline” and “On Demand Logistics.”
Current barriers to digital economic development in Southeast Asia include high costs of technology, excessive transaction times and security concerns. For example, if a customer wants to buy a snack from a mom and pop shop in a remote area, a digital banking account is not only relatively difficult to obtain but also prone to hacking and privacy concerns. He then would need to tell the seller that the seller would need to potentially wait days for the payment to arrive in his/her bank account. And this scenario would require both parties to own expensive digital devices with access to stable internet. Why would the customer ever go through these hurdles when he could buy that tasty snack easily with cash? The logistical headaches are compounded by cultural preference for using cash. Because it facilitates bargaining, returns and familiar in-person exchanges, there may also be societal preferences to using cash.
Blockchain and FinTech could remove many of the barriers to digital economies throughout Southeast Asia. This was one of the subjects discussed on the panel “Order to Cash: Is Cash on Delivery Still Ruling the Roost” at e2e. Cris Tran of IBL moderated the event and served as the voice of blockchain alongside Antoine de Carbonnel, COO Go-Jek, and Terrance Chow, Senior Development Manager at AsiaPay. Cris described blockchain technology and the ways it can make transactions faster, easier and more secure. Thanks to the blockchain, sending and receiving money digitally no longer requires lengthy waits, excessive fees or the potential for banking errors. And unlike cash transactions, one never has to worry about having exact change.
Cris continued his optimism for blockchain and FinTech on the conference’s second day when he gave a talk titled “Will Blockchain be the solution for Cashless Transactions?” He again presented the ways in which blockchain can improve digital transactions, stressing how it streamlines experiences for users large and small.
During the talk, Cris also offered the candid belief that “cash is still king,” and will be for the near future thanks to the previously mentioned obstacles. While infrastructure improvements like expanded 4G service and cheaper smartphones are inevitable, of greatest importance is the need to develop proper identity verification systems. Users must be certain only they have access to their assets, and that the access is secure. While the inherent transparency of blockchain partially addresses this issue, it is not sufficient. There must be a well-designed way for individuals and devices to verify identity, a process often referred to as KYC (Know Your Customer). Once identity verification is improved, there is no limit to how rapidly and widely digital payment systems can be adopted.
Digital KYC efforts have existed since the dawn of the internet, but with emerging blockchain technologies, they are being vastly improved in terms of speed, ease, universality and security. Cris offered the collaborative IBL / Chain of Things Blockpass as an example. Blockpass, he explained can ensure that precious assets are only available to expertly certified people and devices. When implemented it can finally make digital transactions more secure than face-to-face cash ones and then fundamentally change how people spend money.
Cris’ day ended with a Q&A session that gave him the opportunity to talk about blockchain ability to impact industries beyond digital transactions. Sven Milder, Group CEO of Etobee Holding, asked several questions about how blockchain can impact other aspects of businesses. Cris explained that the technology can greatly improve supply chain logistics. He said, for example, tracking processes would not change, but they would be more efficient and reliable once all information is placed on the secure, decentralized blockchain. Cris was also asked about the likelihood of governments holding their elections on the blockchain. He explained that the concept is a great one, and could increase voter turnout and guard against manipulation of votes. Such implementation, would of course, require new and unparallelled levels of transparency from governments.
For industries and individuals to adopt blockchain solutions for digital transactions, supply chains, elections and other fields such as legal record keeping and education, security efforts must be addressed. KYC solutions like Blockpass that benefit from increased security, speed and transparency of blockchain may be the answer.
By emphasizing the need for secure verifications through its products, talks and workshops, IBL is helping usher security and privacy standards in global regulation. These regulation standards will improve blockchain services and attract blockchain adopters across all sectors. IBL is proud to spread awareness of the power of compliance so blockchain technologies can more effectively change the world.
You can learn more about Infinity Blockchain Labs and stay current with our activities by visiting our website and social media accounts below:
Website: Infinity Blockchain Labs (IBL)
LinkedIn: Infinity Blockchain Labs
Nicole Nguyen PR@blockchainlabs.asia
Keywords: blockchain fintech, blockchain and fintech, fintech blockchain