Healing Economies around the GlobeAlissa Saoutina |
At 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, I set out to hear Dun & Bradstreet’s chief economist, Paul Ballew, talk about the global economy. I was praying that I don’t fall asleep during the session, but it turned out to be a great presentation by a charismatic economist from Detroit.
So here is the good news and bad news about the global economy, according to the presentation. The good: healing is underway in U.S. and around the world (despite what the headlines are saying); the bad: the global economy is so complex and intertwined that safe harbors are hard to find (developed markets are not insulated against economic currents in the developing world). The Ukraine crisis highlights how interdependent markets have become in last 10 years – with Russia and Western Europe depending on each other for energy and goods respectively.
In the U.S., small businesses are doing great—balance sheets are improving, risk of going out of business is low, finances are in order. How to continue in this stride? DNB’s prescription is INNOVATE. In this globally complex world, there is no longer room for sleepy businesses.
So how do electronic payments companies help those businesses? By providing solutions that help them access and move money quickly and efficiently (cost and channel), as well as give them information about their finances in an actionable format—e.g. “you are spending too much on fuel, think about upgrading your truck fleet to fuel-efficient vehicles”.
The bottom line is that western economies and business are still facing “headwinds” from the sluggish consumer spend patterns and volatility in developing markets. That being said, the players in the payments ecosystem must have access and be able to provide actionable insight from a global perspective. Helping companies to select the right markets to grow their business in and attracting tourists to local merchants are primary value propositions around which payment companies should develop solutions (for further detail see Robin Report – Growth by Global expansion).