Reflections on payment innovation from my trip to Singapore and Indonesia

Nov 23, 2023 | Digital Euro

Recently, I returned from a two-week Asia journey, where I had the honor of participating in a workshop on payments and CBDC with the Central Bank of Indonesia and immersing myself in the dynamic atmosphere of the Singapore Fintech Festival. It was fascinating to witness innovative perspectives and dynamics firsthand, especially regarding payments in Indonesia and Singapore.

Some reflections:

1️⃣ Cross-Country Learning: Central banks in Asia, as a general trend, are cultivating a culture of curiosity and collaboration, actively seeking insights from diverse global experiences to enrich their understanding.

2️⃣ Future-Focused Mindset: There is a noticeable emphasis on future-oriented thinking, with central banks contemplating the implications of emerging technologies such as blockchain, AI, and quantum computing, while considering their impact on future generations. The significance of privacy is expected to grow, and central banks acknowledge the inherent risks of extensive data collection.

3️⃣ Southeast Asia’s Payment Collaboration: The spirit of collaboration in Southeast Asia is thriving, particularly in the realm of payments. Countries in the ASEAN-5 region are collaborating to improve cross-border efficiency and interoperability, underscoring the vital role of partnerships and knowledge exchange.

4️⃣ European Dynamics: Despite good intentions and a generally promising stance on digital assets, in my view, Europe needs a more open, future-oriented, and innovative mindset. This mindset is undoubtedly present in Asia. Looking at Asia, there’s a risk of missing a prime opportunity despite the current favorable environment, emphasizing the need for a more agile approach.


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