By Dr Ahmed Kada, West Africa CTR Director @ Universal Postal Union.
Covid19 has shutting down workplaces and putting entire business sectors into stand-by. The transition to digital communication and remote working has been rapid. However, the exchange of physical goods and e-cash are still needed which is why the logistics and financial operators suddenly find themselves on the list of critical infrastructure of e-trade ecosystem. There are Billions of people must already be in self-isolation around the world, especially in china 780 million people sitting at home. As a result, Alibaba has even set aside $144 million in spending subsidies for its customers. Undeniably, the digital leaders are winning. Downloads of games are soaring, streaming services are booming and retailers are having a field day.
With a lengthening list border closures and the disruption to air routes worldwide during crisis, serval difficulties have been registered with commercial air flight which transported the most of the international ecommerce flow. Also, the capacity to switch to the land and maritime transport wasn’t trivial for postal and cargo items. So, the operators are urgently called to adjust their standards and process for more flexibility of easy switching between the (air, maritime, land) ways. Also, regarding the hygienic requirements dictated by the pandemic, these standards might integrate new dimensions of compliance with hygienic requirements, in particular those arising from world health organization standards on the relevant subject. In the other way, the impacts of Covid19 on the cash of the payment services push the financial operators to integrate urgently the e-cash ecosystem and accelerate the establishment of worldwide standardization that permit the widespread use of e-cash for all social classes and across the globe.
The operators have faced with two major dilemmas: the inability to ensure the continuity of services for international delivery and; the difficulties in dealing with the increasing national volumes in accordance with the required quality levels. In this respect, the challenge of the customer communication disruption to keep the conquered covid19 market is to develop smart loyalty programs standardized via transparency and perpetual and personalised communication for the former and new customers. It’s based on new intelligent artificial model (AI) that takes the form of a golden triangle: «big data, customer human relationship and AI call center ».
On another strand, the adjustment of the afferent standards should take in account the creation of infrastructure for pandemic surveillance “raises fears about scope creep for the future”. Whether data collected will be used by agencies other than public health while respecting key provisions of personal data protection standards. However, the block chain technologies coupled to digital qualified signatures is the optimal solution to dress the afferent security problems.
In conclusion, to embrace the new paradigm of the e-society post-Covid19, the operators are increasingly need to merge the physical, financial and digital channels communication via new model of regulatory common standards frameworks that adapt towards a technology neutral definition of universal service. The key to victory is to be able to make appropriate decisions faster than the rate at which the environment evolves.
Recommended additional reading : Mailing Systems Technology, 2020 « Postal Industry Pillars to be highlighted in the Post-Covid19 Era under Multilateralism Cooperation: Standardization, Digitalization, e-Commerce, Transport, e-Cash »