PayCargo: Air cargo firms must modernise to be relevant to the next generation

Lionel van der Walt, president and chief executive officer of the Americas, PayCargo

Air cargo companies must modernise if they want to appeal to the next generation of business leaders and avoid becoming obsolete, according to one PayCargo executive.

Speaking to Air Cargo News at the Air Cargo Americas event, the payment system’s president and chief executive, Americas, Lionel van der Walt, used the example of payment systems to demonstrate how quickly the world is changing.

He said that people are today using a variety of wearable devices to make contactless payments or transfer funds, while intelligent vehicles can even make payments for things like fuel or items from drive-through outlets.

Meanwhile, some areas of air cargo are still using cheques to make payments.

Air cargo companies must therefore modernise – beyond just payment systems – if they are to be relevant to the business leaders of tomorrow, van der Walt said.

“When I look at the industry, it is really outdated,” he said. “When you look at those next generations that are coming up; Gen-Y, Gen-Z, these kids have grown up in an environment where everything is done on their phones.

“They don’t watch TV, they watch everything on their phone. For payments, they don’t go into a bank, they have never seen a cheque, they have smart phones or smart watches.

“Then you look at our industry, writing cheques, documents, paper flowing throughout, it is ludicrous.

“This young generation coming into the workplace now, they are going to be the future business leaders, the business owners, the workforce, this is what they are used to.

“We need to make sure that this industry caters for them. Those who do not, they are going to lose out – they will be Nokias and Blackberries of this world who thought they had the market share and then overnight someone comes in and takes it away from them and re-defines the way things are done.”

Looking at the PayCargo business, van der Walt said he believed the company had a role to play in modernising the industry through its API and ERP payment systems.

“We want to be at the forefront and are not afraid to invest. We have a great team in terms of our support, our customer service, as well as our product development.

“We can make changes overnight, whereas other companies can take six months, we can do it in a couple of weeks.”

In terms of developments at the company, van der Walt said PayCargo is looking to continue forming partnerships, along the lines of its tie-ups with IATA and CNS in the US, while it will also soon launch in China and will look to be ready for the many block chain networks that are currently being developed.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]