Inside Asia Podcast

Cashing Out (w/ Cary Horenfeldt)

February 24, 2020

My guest this week is Cary Horenfeldt, a self-styled digital payments expert. He’s an advisor to Bain & Company and consultant to an ever-growing FinTech community in Asia and beyond.

Based in Singapore, Cary sees growing enthusiasm for digital payments. Regulators are relaxing rules, making way for new entrants, while merchants contemplate ways to drive sales across new payment platforms. The only real loser in this payments frenzy is cash, and no one seems too sad to see it go.

So-called digital wallets are all the rage, accounting for 54% of all China e-commerce sales, which in turn, represent 620.5 billion dollars of a booming 1.2 trillion dollar marketplace. “Super Apps” created and supported by Chinese behemoths Alibaba and WeChat capture QR codes with the swipe of a smartphone, making payments quick, smooth and seamless.

In less than 20 years, China has risen to become the world’s digital vanguard. It now leads the world in digital payments, and with only 56% smartphone penetration there’s still lots of upside.