Our world today, is in the midst of a dynamic change, where technological innovations are disrupting and reshaping everything that touches humankind. Take the case of payment ecosystem between consumers, retailers and banks – you will find that they have seen the maximum change and transformation in the last two decade – from the days of credit card being an alternative to cash, to payment aggregators like PayPal to the very recent mobile wallets and QR code payment apps. They all have made a significant impact in making the world CASHLESS!
But, where are we really, in this journey to be cashless? This is the question that we at QBERO were driven by. We looked at the facts, we dwelled deeper on the impact of payment innovations in the retail industry landscape, took a page out of our work experiences in emerging markets and explored from the point of view of THE CONSUMER!
The Dynamic Retail Landscape
Here are some facts on the Retail landscape –
Retail Sales in Asia Pacific touched USD 9.25 trillion in 2017 (which was about 40% of the global numbers)
E-commerce represented 14.7% of the total retail sales in the region*.
E-commerce market is on a growth trajectory, with the entrance of players like Amazon into the South-East Asia market, players like Lazada, Shopee improving their presence and Chinese players like Alibaba and Tencent increasing their investment and presence for a pie of the market.
However, the interesting thing to note is that :
Around 85% of retail business in Asia-Pacific is still happening at retail outlets, stores and shops.
Due to low credit card penetration in the South-East Asia region, both eCommerce players and Retail stores and shops, are turning towards newer modes of mobile payments.
However, Cash on Delivery remains among the popular methods of payment. For instance, Cash on Delivery is offered by more than 80% of the players in both Vietnam and Philippines.**
Digital Payments is on the rise, but Cash is still King
Yes……cash is still the dominant method of payment, especially in Asia!
A recently conducted survey by PayPal found that almost 3/5th (57%) of the respondents in Asia, prefer cash for their day-today transactions. Geographically, more than 70% of the respondents in India, Philippines and Indonesia said they use cash most often and in HK and Singapore – which happen to be the financial hubs in Asia – more than 40% said the same. Interestingly however, half of the respondents were aware of digital wallets and contactless payments but chose not to engage those mediums for their daily transactions. And this was despite the regular problems these respondents had around lack of easy access to ATMs & usual long queues at bank branches.
Our Value Proposition
So we put ourselves in the consumer’s shoes and asked ourselves - do the consumers have preference towards cash, credit card, digital wallet or contactless payments OR what they really need is the convenience, freedom and flexibility to transact in either?
And that is how QBERO – the mobile native application software - was conceptualised, designed and developed. With QBERO, consumers do not have to worry whether they have cash to pay at a retail store or shop which does not accepts credit cards or digital wallets.
Qbero has been built with the objective of bringing convergence at the retail point of sale and the goal of turning shops, stores or retail outlets into a ‘one stop’ destination, without a consumer having to make that extra trip to an ATM or a bank branch to withdraw CASH! By enabling a consumer not to take that extra trip, QBERO facilitates a more robust and interactive ecosystem between retailers, consumers and banks.
*Source – an eMarketRetail study
**Source - State of e-Commerce in South-east Asia 2017 white paper