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Futuristic February: from real-time payments to digital transformation, and everything in between!

With the return of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February was a very busy month for us at Babel! We had the highest number of Babel clients at MWC on record this year, with thirteen clients attending. This meant that the Babel team was deep in preparation throughout February, from organising briefings to pitching press releases prior to the event. Despite it being the busy MWC season, the team managed to secure some great pieces of coverage for our clients andf made sure that they were at the forefront of the most important conversations amidst the MWC noise. Here are some of my top picks from last month…

The real-time payments takeover: Tazapay introduces open banking payments in the UK/EU with Volt

Since the launch of open banking in 2018, its adoption rate has been growing exponentially and it is becoming more and more integrated into our day-to-day lives. With Open Banking Limited announcing that the UK has surpassed over seven million open banking users, and more than one million customers using open banking for the first time in January alone, open banking is definitely taking the payments sector by storm. However, this growth is not only being seen in the UK, with open banking becoming the preferred payment method for consumers in Latin America, UPI in India reaching 6.28 billion transactions and Singapore’s PayNow service reaching nearly 5.5 million bank accounts, the impact of real-time payments cannot be disputed.

One of the main use cases for real-time payments is that they are much better for cross-border payments than traditional methods. With their reduced foreign exchange fees in comparison to traditional methods and the fact that they provide greater transparency into payments, real-time payments can provide endless benefits to businesses that regularly use cross-border payments. Singapore-based cross-border payments provider Tazpay has announced its partnership with real-time payments gateway and client Volt to help Tazapay’s customers roll out and increase their cross-border sales. This partnership will provide the most benefit for APAC and MENA-based merchants who are looking to increase their sales in both the UK and Europe. Matt Komorowski, Chief Revenue Officer at Volt stated that this partnership “demonstrates the global acceleration of real-time payments across many sectors – a complement to the acceleration of online business processes and an obvious for businesses now operating in a digital-first economy. You can read more about this partnership in Finextra.

The power of digital advertising in cross-sector consumer engagement

Businesses are currently operating against a rather bleak economic backdrop due to macroeconomic factors such as the global recession and the after-effects of the global pandemic, and are struggling to adapt to changing consumer behaviours. 

The World Advertising Research Center reported that in-store footfall had actually fallen by almost half during the Black Friday sales. At the same time, eCommerce simultaneously saw sales increases of over 40% – which shows just how much consumer behaviour has shifted! In response to this, Roger Mazella, Strategic Partner Manager at global software company and client QT stated that many businesses are turning to digital advertising in hopes of luring consumers back into physical shopping environments. Roger stated that although the pandemic has been difficult for businesses, there is a huge opportunity to embrace this change in consumer preferences by targeting software code for digital adverts. Devices powered by the Internet of Things, such as kiosks, provide businesses with a great opportunity to diversify their approaches to digital advertising. This in turn will help businesses to remain both profitable and competitive in the current commercial landscape. To hear more about how digital advertising can help your business to thrive in this post-pandemic world, you can read the full article in Business Reporter here.

Why you should be avoiding cyber insurance in the current climate 

Cyberattacks continued to take the world by storm in February, with the Post Office still struggling to recover from its recent cyberattack as hacking group LockBit threatens to publish stolen data and Reddit’s systems were breached by bad actors. 

In response to this cybercrime wave that we are experiencing, many businesses are scrambling to find a way to prepare should they be breached, and many are turning to cyber insurance. As a quick bit of background, cyber insurance provides protection against financial damages from a cyber attack – but many industry professionals have pointed out that businesses should be avoiding investing in cyber insurance at all costs.

Head of cybersecurity at client Telstra, Manoj Bhatt, commented on this topic for CSO Online stating that industry topics like cyber insurance tend to attract a lot of attention which drives conversations about a topic that many do not fully understand. Manoj stated that while threat actors continue to increase in volume and sophistication, cyber insurance offerings are adapting accordingly,  meaning that it is crucial to fully weigh up the value that these policies will bring before blindly investing. You can read more about this in the article above.

And that brings our February coverage highlights to a close! If you would like to hear more about how Babel can help your business to become a driving force behind the media’s most important conversations, please do reach out.

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