- Collinson clients’ commerce platforms are seeing significant year-on-year variations in the habits of online shoppers in 2020, tracking with the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 outbreak
- The early lockdown stages brought spending jumps in electronics, appliances and F&B delivery as consumers adjusted to life and work at home; while health and beauty sales rose alongside easing restrictions
- The substantial swing in consumer spending habits in 2020 highlights the growing relevance of loyalty commerce platforms, which give travel and financial service providers a flexible and robust way to continually engage with consumers
Charting the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on commerce trends, Collinson today reveals a new look at how COVID-19 is affecting online shopping habits in Asia Pacific. A global leader in customer benefits and loyalty, Collinson supports over 25 online shopping portals where consumers can earn and spend loyalty currency linked to leading travel and financial services reward programmes. This broad and robust loyalty commerce network gives Collinson unique data insight into shifting online spending patterns in 2020.
At the very early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, with travel purchases down 69% year-on-year (YoY), sales of electronics and appliances from merchants like Kogan.com were up 19% as consumers prepared to work, cook and entertain themselves at home. Food and beverage brands with online delivery capabilities also performed well, including Menulog and PARKnSHOP.
After the initial waves of restrictions and lockdowns, sales of health and beauty brands began to rise, with a 21% YoY sales jump for brands like iHerb, lookfantastic.com and L’Occitane — indicating consumers’ preparations to re-enter daily life and once again be face-to-face with friends and colleagues; and underlining the deeper interest in personal health and wellness in the COVID-19 era. Throughout the period, luxury sales have remained consistent.
James Berry, Commercial Director of Collinson’s Loyalty Commerce, said, “Loyalty commerce platforms are now seeing a massive growth in relevance, especially for travel and financial service providers. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a substantial swing in consumer spending habits and we expect the effects of this to ripple out for the next few years at a minimum. We’ve seen unprecedented shopping spikes and demand over the outbreak period, much of it concentrated around specific commerce categories. Understanding this data, we can help partners to better connect to their customers, in terms of communications and delivering on end-consumer needs with the right products at the right moments.”
Simon Morgan, Country Director for Collinson Australia, said, “This has been a challenging time for both consumers and businesses. For organisations who invested in online earn or redeem platforms — designed to reward customer loyalty — the COVID-led surge in online retail has provided a much needed ancillary revenue stream; while enabling companies to remain in contact with consumers, through value-add touchpoints. With Asia being the world’s fastest-growing ecommerce market, it’s likely the importance of platforms such as these will only grow. We’re eager to continue to leverage our data and insight to help brands deepen their sales and loyalty strategies, while helping the region’s consumers access relevant, exciting and rewarding offers.”
Collinson supports organisations to create a differentiated loyalty strategy that reinforces brand preference and delivers personalised engagement with customers. Collinson’s offerings have continued to evolve in order to deliver on the rising need for an integrated and secure commerce ecosystem that enables the delivery of personalised, low friction earn-and-redeem experiences. This approach enables Collinson to support travel, retail and financial services partners by leveraging the unique size and scale of the Collinson business: more than 5,000 retailers and merchant partners, 1,400 banking partners and over 90 airline and 20 hotel group partners, reaching millions of consumers around the globe.
James Berry added, “Like many businesses in 2020, we’ve been working fast to evaluate and evolve our strategies in order to best support our clients and their customers at this unique moment in time. With a rich history of connecting different members of the travel, retail and loyalty ecosystem together, Collinson is uniquely positioned to help brands navigate their loyalty strategy in the post-COVID world. We are increasingly supporting financial institutions to grow their relevance and frequency of customer interactions, retailers to provide added value and stand out, and travel brands to drive deeper engagement in anticipation of the travel recovery. Going forward, we will continue to uncover meaningful data and explore how we can create mutually valuable networks to engage customers, drive spend, and support diversified revenue streams.”
Lightnet Group Forges Partnership with Siam Commercial Bank
Singapore-based fintech company, Lightnet Pte. Ltd. (Lightnet Group), has announced a partnership with Siam Commercial Bank (SCB). The partnership makes remittance services accessible to all Thai bank accounts and anyone who has signed up for PromptPay, a government-sponsored service that enables instant bank-to-bank fund transfers.
Suvicha Sudchai, Chief Product Officer of Lightnet Group, says “SCB will be Lightnet Group’s settlement partner responsible for disbursing and clearing payments, facilitating the electronic payment processing and enabling frictionless real-time remittances to Thailand from anywhere in the world with lower fees.”
This partnership offers SCB additional international money transfer options through Lightnet Group’s channels. “Siam Commercial Bank has been a longtime supporter of fintech startups in Thailand, and our fintech investment arm, Digital Ventures Co. Ltd., is the largest venture capital fund in Thailand, with a total capital base of USD100 million. Fintech plays an essential role in SCB’s digital transformation, and we look forward to working with the Lightnet Group to revolutionize the global remittances industry,” says EVP, Payment Strategy and Digital Disruptive Technology, Srihanath Lamsam.
On the new partnership, Lightnet Group’s CEO and Vice Chairman, Tridbodi Arunanondchai says, “We are very proud to be working with SCB to facilitate cross-border remittances together with another trusted global fintech solution provider, SENTBE. SCB is one of the most reputable banks in Thailand and the technology investment the bank employs allows us to optimize our platform and reach our goals.”
Lightnet Group’s partnership with SCB and Sentbe extends the Lightnet Group’s reach further in line with its mission to promote financial mobility and inclusivity.
About Lightnet Group
Lightnet Group is a Singapore-headquartered fintech company with the mission of promoting financial mobility and inclusivity. Lightnet Group empowers unbanked populations and SME trade finance with an inclusive international remittance ecosystem. The Lightnet Group’s international remittance ecosystem adopts the Velo Protocol as its blockchain protocol and positions itself as the premiere clearing and settlement network for the Asia Pacific region by connecting existing financial systems with its network of cash agents and wallets.
Future of digital payments – What's next for India's Digital Space: Lyra Network
In India’s journey towards becoming a cashless economy, two words and their impact played a significant role, ‘demonetization’ and ‘COVID-19’. One laid out the foundation of digital payments and another became the main source to build up the digital payments ecosystem.
Back in 2016, demonetization was a push from the government to convert India from a cash-based economy to a cashless economy. But India had witnessed digitization with steady progress way back in the 90s. With technologies like MICR, ATM, credit, debit cards followed by digital wallets, prepaid cards, recharge vouchers, etc., the payment industry was supported by new technologies and innovations. With the rise of Fintechs, the growth of the payment industry has seen many innovative solutions and methods to transact digitally. With astounding initiatives and innovations like, UPI, FASTags, NFC payments, QR codes, interoperable digital wallets, etc., Indian digital payment space certainly holds a promising future.
In the pandemic and the eventual lockdown, the digital payment sector has witnessed ups and downs. The new normal of COVID-19, social distancing, has influenced not only consumer behavior towards shopping but also how they pay for things. However, with the government’s initiative, local and new businesses like online storefronts utility bills, etc. are embracing digital payments and with that’, many digital platforms have seen recoveries. One such platform that has gained enormous popularity is contactless payments.
“Pandemic has created a big opportunity for contactless payments. As awareness about digital payments is spreading pan India, more number of people are actually interested in using contactless payments. They know what contactless payments are, how they work and they prefer to use contactless payments,” Says Rajesh Desai, CEO & MD, Lyra Network.
“While contactless payment is sitting comfortably with consumers, it is crucial for merchants to adapt to such methods, understand them, and cater to the customer needs,” he further added.
Today, more than 60% of Indians use mobile and online banking for financial transactions, and many of them want to continue with digital payments in the post-covid world. But still, four out of five payments are done by cash, and one of the main reasons is the lack of internet access. Though there are many external factors directly or indirectly affecting the growth of digital payments like government’s initiative, the pandemic, digital awareness campaigns by the payment solution providers, Fintechs, banks, and the government, etc., the mobile penetration and a robust digital payment infrastructure will allow for a continuous expansion in digitalization and digitization.
Many digital payment platforms have seen their all-time high during this pandemic, so as many digital payment solution providers. Lyra as a Fintech is also playing a pivotal role in making India’s journey towards the cashless economy.
“Lyra aims to be a ‘One stop solution for all payment requisites’. The backend infrastructure is Lyra’s key strength and the data centers at Mumbai and Bangalore are backbones. Our technology, ideas, and innovations are our greatest allies,” Rajesh added.
Lyra is working in the digital space providing transaction routing and payment processing solutions for more than a decade. For rural India, where there are connectivity and network issues Lyra is providing a connecting platform called ‘Lyra Connect’. With the active partnership with broadband companies, Telcos, several banking business correspondents, Lyra managed services are able to provide secure and stable connectivity and deliver banking and financial services.
Lyra has also introduced secure connections with intelligent platforms for Point Of Sales (POS) terminals with 2G/3G/4G/PSTN (and now Wi-Fi) technology under the fintech industry banner in India. With innovative solutions like Lyra NAC, a secure and powerful server that provides seamless connectivity and fast transaction gateway for payment processing without any glitch, Lyra payment switch, processing, and routing online payments with a higher success rate and faster processing time, Lyra provides efficient transaction services for all sectors.
Businesses are interested in the payment solutions that require much cheaper and less infrastructure to accept online payments. Payment processing industry and payment service providers are launching and researching the products/ services that will change customer service to more on a personal level. For a long time, banks have dominated the finance industry but with the rise of financial institutes, neo banking, and Fintechs, financial services have become more accessible. Now that there is a mobile app for literally everything, all the services are becoming more personalized and customized.
Soon in the future, the payment space will take more advanced and revolutionary routes. We can witness the development of blockchain payments, payments initiated by voice, biometrics and social media accounts, cryptocurrencies, cloud-based payments, AI, ML, IoT enabled payments, and many more innovative methods.
But payment space includes more than just payment methods, in the coming years, there will be interesting development on the side of digital payment solution providers, as they understand their role in the payment value chain and evolve their innovations, infrastructure, security, interoperability with the trends and the government’s regulatory regime.
Though due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic have increased the demand for cash, more people are now shifting towards using contactless payments. In a developing country like India, though financial inclusion has provided an opportunity to adapt to digital payments, the unbanked and underbanked sectors in Indian provide the biggest opportunity for the growth of digital payments. It is safe to say, that for now, due to the pandemic, India’s journey to becoming a cashless economy from a cash-based economy is taking a temporary halt at the contactless economy.
Mphasis Acquires Datalytyx, a DataOps specialist in the Snowflake and Talend ecosystem
Mphasis, (BSE: 526299) and (NSE: MPHASIS), an Information Technology (IT) solutions provider specialising in cloud and cognitive services, announced today, its acquisition of Datalytyx, a leading next-gen data engineering and consultancy company. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, Datalytyx provides Next-gen Data Engineering, Data Ops and Master Data Management solutions on Snowflake and Talend environments to clients globally. As the first Snowflake Rockies Partner in the UK, a Snowflake Select Solutions Partner, and a Platinum VAR partner of Talend, Datalytyx provides services for modern data projects enabling faster, more accurate analysis and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Since its inception, Datalytyx has been supporting modern data projects by providing a managed data platform for analytics and machine learning, using best-in-class data tools. The company integrates client environments with platforms from its partners – Talend and Snowflake, creating a single integrated platform for Data and AI. Through its best and brightest talent (including engineers, scientists, and analysts) and data expertise, Datalytyx, has been driving digital transformation for its clients.
“Every enterprise needs the ability to turn raw data into actionable information at scale, the recent worldwide crisis has only accelerated this need. Data and analytics combined with artificial intelligence, will continue to play a dominant role to predict, prepare and respond to changing needs of the business,” said Nitin Rakesh, CEO and Executive Director, Mphasis. “Together with Datalytyx and its highly skilled data professionals, we believe Mphasis is distinctively positioned to further fuel our worldwide clients’ transformational projects. This acquisition will not only strengthen our next-gen data strategy but will also be a significant milestone in our journey to build capabilities relevant to the digital priorities of our clients.”
“We are delighted to be a part of the Mphasis family and firmly believe that the collective vision and capabilities will lay a strong foundation for the future. Our combined expertise will be central to Mphasis’ next-gen data strategy and will further drive our clients’ digital transformation in Global markets,” said John Webb, Co-Founder, Datalytyx.
“Datalytyx played a critical role when Snowflake opened up Europe in February 2017 and they have continued to invest and support us during this hyper-growth period. From day one, Datalytyx has supported us in data modernisation projects, providing a managed data platform for analytics and machine learning, creating a single integrated platform for Data and AI. We are excited to see the acquisition of Datalytyx, by Mphasis as strategic in becoming a global leader in this space. The foundations have been firmly laid, which give us all a platform for scale and immense opportunity,” said Tim Alexander, Director of Alliances EMEA, Snowflake.
“Since working with the Datalytyx team, the company has been supporting modern data projects with Talend at the forefront providing a managed data platform for analytics and machine learning, using best-in-class data tools creating a single integrated platform for Data and AI. Datalytyx has been instrumental in aligning with Talend’s customers, sales teams, and technology partners to provide modern data stacks to tackle the problems that companies face with a modern approach to advanced analytics. We applaud Mphasis’ acquisition of Datalytyx as a great move to enhancing them both with capability and capacity to become a global leader in this space,” said Rolf Heimes, Global Head of Business Development, Talend.
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