In the afternoon session of the Cards & Payments Asia, Richard Hartung, Managing Director of Transcarta Pte. Ltd. Singapore, led a very lively discussion about the domestic cards & payments landscapes. The panel consisted of A.P. Hota, MD & CEO of National Payment Corporation India; Anand Cavale, MD & Business Head of Citibank Malaysia and Vince Au Yoong, Acting Director Retail Banking of RHB bank. This esteemed panel gave what was undoubtedly a lively discussion about the current state of the domestic payments industry with respect to their respective home markets. They all agree that at some point in the future, payment technologies are going to converge and there will be interoperability with various organisations and more importantly, across geographical borders.
Mr Hota felt that from central banks' point of view, it was better for the central banks to have some level of control over the payment system to ensure interoperability and security. Mr Cavale however felt that the central banks should allow competitions from other payments organisation to improve the life of consumers. After a lively repartee, what was agreed was that in the long run, consumers will gain as there will be more payments choices for them. Mr Vince echoed this point by stating that ASEAN is looking to form an economic bloc similar to the European Union. This will result in people here having easier time to pay for their purchases across state borders.
Thus it seems that a gradual convergence of payments solutions will occur. This will supersede the domestic/international divide and bring consumers numerous payment benefits.