TSYS today announced the publication of a white paper, the third in its Emerging Market Perspective Series, titled ‘Convergence of Social Media and Payments in India and Southeast Asia.’ The whitepaper explores adoption levels of popular social networks across the South and Southeast Asia region and how their fast growth could influence consumer banking and retail payment preferences in the future. Combining industry data with TSYS-sponsored market research, the paper explores how payment technologies are likely to evolve and converge with social media. It also highlights the four key challenges that lie ahead for financial institutions when navigating social media: risk of dis-intermediation, security and privacy concerns, regulation and interoperability. The paper concludes with outlining key areas that financial institutions need to consider as part of their strategic imperatives as market trends and consumer sentiment point to a growing convergence between social media and payments. Top considerations included establishing and maintaining an agnostic platform that supports new and emerging payments types and virtual currencies; effectively navigating present and future regulatory requirements; and ensuring platform stability, security and scalability, along with an ability to cost-effectively process low-value (micro) transactions. "Payments and social media share a symbiotic relationship. They both need each other for long-term survival," said Amit Sethi, managing director of India and Southeast Asia, TSYS. “With the next generation of customers spending significantly more time on social-networking sites, there is a higher likelihood of them connecting, interacting — and transacting — within the social media framework. Social media poses significant challenges and opportunities for financial institutions, and now is the time for them to consider how to leverage this fast-growing, ubiquitous medium.” This report is the third TSYS white paper prepared on the Indian and Southeast Asia market. Earlier whitepapers, also authored by Amit Sethi, were entitled ‘ Four Imperatives to Accelerate Electronic Payment Adoption in India’ and ‘ M-Payments and Prepaid Poised to Define Financial Institutions’ Delivery of Banking & Payment Services to Rural India.’‘Convergence of Social Media and Payments in India and Southeast Asia’ is available for download at: www.tsys.com/socialmediaandpaymentswhitepaper. TSYS’ 2011 whitepapers are also available for download at: www.tsys.com/indiaelectronicpaymentsmarketwhitepaper, and www.tsys.com/indiampaymentsandprepaidwhitepaper. About TSYS At TSYS, (NYSE: TSS), we believe payments should revolve around people — not the other way around. We call this belief "People-Centered Payments SM." By putting people at the center of every decision we make, with unmatched customer service and industry insight, TSYS is able to support financial institutions, businesses and governments in more than 80 countries. Offering merchant payment-acceptance solutions as well as services in credit, debit, prepaid, mobile, chip, healthcare and more, we make it possible for those in the global marketplace to conduct safe and secure electronic transactions with trust and convenience. TSYS’ headquarters are located in Columbus, Georgia, with local offices spread across the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. TSYS provides services to more than half of the top 20 international banks, is a Fortune 1000 company and was named one of the 2012 World's Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere magazine. For more information, please visit us at www.tsys.com.