Lionel van der Walt, president and chief executive officer of the Americas, PayCargo
In the third of our ‘How To’ series, Lionel van der Walt, chief executive and president of the Americas at PayCargo, explores the benefits of utilising Fintech in the air cargo industry
Until fairly recently, the payment process in the air cargo industry was paper-based with manual processes and lengthy transaction processing times.
Then digital technology came along, followed by digital banking and Fintech – which leads us to the present day situation which, across the industry industry, is a period of exciting change.
We are all aware that digitalisation is happening, that it will continue to evolve – and that Fintech is booming, but how is it impacting air cargo?
The short answer is, quite a lot.
Fintech is the merger of financial services and digital technology, and it is being used to streamline and automate financial processes across many different industries.
In air cargo, blockchain is already reducing manual processes through its record-keeping technology, its ability to provide transparency, and its resistance to modification.
Online payment solutions, tools and apps are also being used to speed up transactions and as a result, the movement of goods around the world.
This is a timely development as the demand for speed is only expected to increase as the e-commerce sector continues to grow and the next generation of air cargo professionals become even more tech savvy.
The use of APIs (application programming interfaces) is another example of how the air cargo industry can utilise Fintech.
APIs are a powerful, flexible way to enable a product or service to communicate with other products and services without having to know the details of how they work.
In short, connecting software applications together through APIs can simplify application development, which in turn saves time and money.
Both the air cargo and financial services industries have traditionally been resistant to change, but now is the time to follow the lead of the finance world and embrace new opportunities through technological innovation.
There are many benefits to using Fintech in air cargo, but it all comes down to three key advantages: speeding up the movement of freight; modernising the industry; and securing a sustainable future for the next generation of air cargo professionals.
That sounds good to me.