Bridging digital payments to power the cashless economy


The push towards digitalization is real for both private and public sectors across the globe now. From creeping adoption into people’s daily lives, technology and digital services are being harnessed to move the productivity meter in a great many sectors, including when it comes to financial services.

From enabling money remittance services for governmental platforms, to allowing mobile payments for websites and e-commerce apps, financial service providers have had to look again at how they can help speed up the digital transformation efforts of numerous businesses, worldwide.

In the Asia Pacific region, the events of the past two years have thrown a spotlight on the woeful digital transformation journeys of organizations in the world’s fastest growing region, and that is not limited to developing markets like Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines that were emerging rapidly in the days before the pandemic. Even organizations in developed territories like Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and Malaysia were caught unaware by the nearly overnight need to be digital-first – whether that be embracing online productivity methods like cloud computing services or enabling alternative revenue-generating channels by providing digital payment options.

The COVID-19 crisis once again highlighted fears around the usage of cash, which had already been seeing dwindling use in recent years as many markets looked towards digital cures to power payments acceptance in brick-and-mortar retail, to allow for convenient bills payment, and in empowering online sales channels.

New payment technologies such as mobile payments, e-wallets, and contactless cards have been simplified over the years, and they are smoothening both business-to-business and business-to-customer experiences with their range and flexibility of capabilities.

These strengths are putting organizations under pressure to accept these payment innovations that go beyond traditional banking models. And as the online payment processing market continues to develop, users are demanding for additional payment features and options that will lead growth in multiple directions.

For one, users will be demanding online transaction means that will be increasingly exposed to risk of fraud, widening the risk management strategy of the company to whole new horizons, such as chargebacks for fraudulent transactions. Too many chargebacks could effectively cripple a merchant, and without the chip-based physical card authentication of credit cards, newer technologies such as biometrics and multifactor authentication need to be used to validate the identity of online purchasers and authorize their transactions.

Another critical function being demanded of new-age payments is the ability to facilitate cross-border transactions. Traditionally, national banking structures would rather avoid the complexities of enabling cross-border payments, but with digital platforms and services making the internet essentially borderless, consumers are coming to want goods and services from other countries that they may not be able to access in their own.

Hence, transnational payment systems are on the rise, trusted systems that are not bound to any single country, instead licensed by accredited bodies such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) certification that governs credit card transactions, both online and off. By partnering with governments and local payment service providers, these new payment systems can maintain a secure network with strong access control measures, manage security and credit risk, and protect users’ identities as well.

Enabling cross-border transactions means being able to accept and process a variety of payment methods and currencies. E-wallet payment processing, mobile payment processing, and of course acceptance of international credit and debit cards help online merchants compete in global markets by allowing their customers to pay in their native currencies and method of choice.

Having the right payment service provider in place, with the necessary infrastructure and technical integration capacities such as applications programming interfaces (APIs) and payment gateways already on board, can go a long way towards serving the customer the digital capabilities they have to expect, including a variety of features, integrated systems that connect with other services, as well as a fast and reliable online payment process that seems virtually seamless.

Convenient, seamless, and secure payment options are what these three service providers below have in common. Let’s take a look at what sets them apart:


Founded back in 2000, right in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, Malaysia-based Green Packet Berhad (Green Packet), an international technology solutions company has been designing, and producing wireless devices, user-centered applications, and value-based services that complement the telecommunications and digital payments ecosystems.

With an industry know-how that has powered integrated solutions for over 100 clients in more than 70 countries, Green Packet offers bespoke digital financial technology solutions through its subsidiary, Kiplepay Sdn Bhd (Kiplepay). Fintech outfit Kiplepay provides solutions such as e-payment ecosystems and e-wallet services through Kiple products that will help established businesses and organisations, as well as meet the needs of underserved sectors and government-linked projects and bodies.

As a disruptive fintech player, Kiplepay has been a driving force for financial inclusion in Southeast Asia. Its kipleUNI program, in partnership with local Malaysian universities, provides a cashless means of payment on university campuses. Their kipleBiz arm extends Kiplepay’s ability business to connect businesses with end-to-end e-payment solutions. Kiplepay has also worked with Malaysian state governments to distribute funds to disadvantaged communities in poor areas.

Not only does Kiplepay enable cashless transactions with its suite of wallet-as-a-service (WAAS) for different sectors, but its ecosystem of e-wallet, payment gateway, and payment services portal have been harnessed to empower national and state government digitization goals and welfare initiatives, including for universities, small-medium enterprises, low-income groups, and underserved communities.


Stripe sets its stall out as an API environment designed for developers, and therefore those looking for pre-built solutions may wish to look elsewhere. However, if an organization possesses the necessary tech chops, the company’s offering is powerful and can be adapted to individual use constrained only by the developers using it.

Complete tokenization places a layer of security between the merchant and payee, and allows easy repeat payments, as references are only ever back to the token(s), rather than to the original payment details.

This leads the way to using Stripe to manage subscription-based payments, such as membership or licensing. This is achieved by subscribing a customer to a predefined plan in the Stripe API – repeat payments are then a matter of iteration through a standard presentation of identifying keys and transactional data.

The company also offers Stripe Connect, a full-stack solution for using Stripe’s capabilities on behalf of others. This includes collecting fees for providing such a service, managing all the different types of Stripe accounts and supporting different pay-out schedules and methods.

Security is paramount in the Stripe environment, with a machine-learning engine that carries out risk evaluations of all payments. There’s the standard blacklist of unwanted cards and emails, plus a constant review process examining unusual payments. Action on flags can be configured through a user dashboard, and automated.


With well over 340 million active users worldwide, PayPal is one of the most recognizable brands offering payment and money remittance services anywhere in the world. With a base of operations that spans the globe, PayPal offers comprehensive payment options for individuals such as freelancers, for online merchants and platforms, as well as for SMEs and larger enterprises.

PayPal’s business services are available for organizations of all sizes, with both B2C and B2B payment options. For e-commerce purchases, customers can checkout using a unified PayPal solution that enables the customer to access a variety of payment methods from the merchant’s website, on mobile or on the web, or via the merchant’s dedicated app.

The experienced provider also supplies other options, such as accepting both card and contactless payments using QR codes, with a unique QR code generated for each transaction allowing for a speedy and contact-free transaction.

Debit or credit card payments can now be processed via PayPal’s Virtual Terminal too, which doesn’t require any specialized equipment, coding or software to accept credit and debit card payments by phone. This option saves on costs by requiring virtually no investment, and requires only an internet connection.


Since arriving in 2017, Zip has taken the payments landscape in Australia and New Zealand to new heights. Zip pioneered the interest-free loans that have become part of the ‘buy now, pay later’ phenomenon that has become the in-demand staggered payment option of late.

Zip offers flexible repayments and a six-week repayment period for its online merchants in categories ranging from clothing and lifestyle products to electronics and travel. While there are no interest charges like many BNPL options, it is vital to understand the service’s late fee schedule. For instance, in New Zealand, the purchaser will be charged NZ$8 per purchase on the day the repayment is missed, followed by NZ$8 every subsequent week that the repayment remains outstanding.

Late fees are capped at NZ$40, which is a substantial sum but still reasonable for many. Payments are automatically deducted from the preferred debit or credit card. If other payments have been made, the repayment schedule will automatically adjust, providing flexibility and ease of use.

Zip is a convenient option for those who are not financially savvy or for the growing number of young users who are averse to credit cards or store credit. It provides an easy way to shop primarily online without the risk of long-term credit card debt.

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