Welcome to Cyberport
A A A
  • Cyberport Facebook Page
  • Cyberport Twitter Page
  • Cyberport LinkedIn Page


Tech News

15-09-2017
Innovation and Technology Venture Fund

The Government has launched the Innovation and Technology Venture Fund on 15-09-2017. It is now open for application by venture capital funds to become co-investment partners (Deadline: 15-01-2018). A briefing session will be held on 03-10-2017 at the Hong Kong Science Park. Interested venture capital funds are welcome to attend.

View More

 

News feed provided by SMBWorld.

 

20-11-2017
Prudential and StarHub to launch blockchain-based digital trade platform for SMEs

Prudential Singapore (Prudential) and StarHub have partnered to launch Fasttrack Trade (FTT) - a digital trade platform for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) using blockchain technology.The platform will allow SMEs to seek business partners and distributors, buy and sell goods, track shipments, receive and make payments, access financing and buy insurance via a single platform. The platform is being developed by fintech startup Cites Gestion with funding from Prudential.FTT is powered by distributed ledger technology which aims to establish trust among SMEs through the sharing of a common audit trail between counterparties on the platform.Every transaction on FTT is recorded and traceable, making it not only safer but also faster and cheaper for SMEs to conduct trade transactions and access financing versus traditional methods. For instance, for transaction values of between S$3,000 and S$20,000, an SME can get access to financing within 24 hours and insurance cover for its outstanding loan for premiums as low as S$20.Under the partnership, StarHub will offer its SME customers access to FTT’s services while Prudential will offer insurance to help them mitigate business risks. The platform also provides alternative financing options to SMEs through Funding Societies, a peer-to-peer lender. More service providers from the financing, business intelligence, payments and logistics sectors are expected to join the FTT by the time it is commercially launched in the first quarter of 2018.The partnership between Prudential and StarHub marks the start of a broader plan to create a digital B2B marketplace powered by StarHub. This will bring together a network of service providers across multiple industries to support the business expansion of SMEs.Stephanie Simonnet, Chief Partnerships Distribution Officer at Prudential Singapore, said that such insurer-telco-fintech collaboration is the first of its kind in Singapore and opens up opportunities for all parties to reach a wider customer base with innovative business solutions, and to share expertise.“We are creating a digital ecosystem based on cross-industry collaboration that will transform commerce and drive the growth of enterprises. Convenient and affordable access to non-traditional sources of funding and to protection will help smaller businesses fulfil their growth ambitions and manage risk. For Prudential, FTT will help drive engagement with a new group of enterprise customers,” said Simonnet.Dr Chong Yoke Sin, Chief of Enterprise Business Group, StarHub, said that for SMEs to thrive in today’s digital economy, it is important for them to capitalise on digital technologies and leverage their capabilities early.“In recent years, the role of telcos has evolved into much more than facilitating communications between people or businesses. At StarHub, we ease adoption of digital solutions for enterprises by integrating partner solutions into our digital platform of offerings, to propel businesses in the digital economy. Our solutions in data analytics, cyber security, Internet of Things and artificial intelligence are integrated into value-added services offered through our digital platforms to enable enterprises to easily conduct business,” said Dr Chong.There are plans to open up FTT to SMEs beyond Singapore. Agnes Hugot, CEO and Co-founder of Cites Gestion said, “We want to test the platform in Singapore and then bring it to emerging markets across Southeast Asia to enhance financial inclusion.“Today, there is a huge trade financing gap in Southeast Asia because of a lack of financing and access to business services, especially for smaller businesses. A digital platform such as FTT could help boost the trade corridors in Southeast Asia, strengthen business communities and bring about significant economic benefits to everyone.”

View More
19-11-2017
UOB and SAP partner to launch cloud-based apps for SMEs

United Overseas Bank Limited (UOB) and SAP have tied up to offer SAP Business One to the Bank’s small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) customers. SAP Business One will be made available as part of UOB BizSmart, a suite of digital applications for small businesses.The solution will offer cloud-based software to help SMEs digitize their back office processes such as accounting and sales. SMEs can choose from three options, depending on the functionalities required and the number of employees in the organization; the most basic option will be complimentary. “While SMEs are keen to reap the benefits of digital technology, it can be costly to implement such technology. A survey we conducted among SMEs earlier this year showed that two in five respondents indicated that cost was a barrier to using digital solutions,” said Lawrence Loh, Managing Director and Head of Group Business Banking, UOB. “To help SMEs overcome this challenge, we have worked with SAP to offer a complimentary, entry-level version to help our customers begin their digitalization journey.“Through the collaboration, we believe our customers would benefit from the use of an enterprise resource planning solution to automate and to manage their administrative processes. Having a direct link to their operating accounts with UOB would enable them to manage their company finances more effectively.”Other potential collaborators on UOB BizSmart include Enterpryze, a mobile business software provider for micro and small enterprises and HReasily an innovative HR solutions company.

View More
19-11-2017
Chubb launches small commercial division for SMEs in APAC

Chubb has established a small commercial division in Asia Pacific dedicated to the risk management needs of Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs).This new business division focuses solely on delivering a sustainable value proposition to SMEs through innovative products, tailored distribution strategies and convenient sales platforms.Three new appointments have been made for the Small Commercial Division:Michael Cellura, Head of Small Commercial Division, Asia Pacific. Mr. Cellura has been with Chubb for more than 10 years and has a wealth of international underwriting and business development experience. He was previously at Chubb in Japan leading the Property & Casualty business for four years. Mr. Cellura is now tasked with bringing to bear the full capabilities of Chubb's product innovation and channel expertise in agency, bancassurance, broker and digital channels, to serve the needs of small commercial businesses.Kieran Brennan, Head of Product Development, Small Commercial Division, Asia. Mr. Brennan will focus on product design as well as the development of processes and service for SMEs. An underwriter since he began his career in the UK more than 20 years ago, he was previously with an international insurer as their Asia Pacific Chief Underwriting Officer for the SME Division.Rob Cameron, Head of Actuarial, Small Commercial Division, Asia Pacific. Mr. Cameron has deep actuarial experience having worked at Chubb for over 15 years; first as an Actuarial Services Manager for Australia and New Zealand and later, as the Regional Property & Casualty Actuary. In his new role, he will further develop new actuarial models specifically for SMEs to ensure Chubb's value proposition is customised for this market segment.On the new Small Commercial Division, Chubb's Regional Head of Property & Casualty, Jason Keen said, "The SMEs' demands for risk management are rapidly evolving as they continue to play an expanding role in the local economies across the region. With Chubb's superior underwriting expertise, award-winning claims and account services, we can provide SMEs a differentiated offering to help them thrive. I'm confident that Michael, Kieran and Rob, in collaboration with the local SME teams in each country, will be able to tap the many opportunities to grow this exciting new division together with our existing clients and distribution partners".

View More
19-11-2017
Oracle startup cloud accelerator program begins in Singapore

Oracle has announced the inaugural class of startup participants officially commencing the six-month Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program in Singapore.Selected from hundreds of applicants, the six startups in Singapore’s initial class are Arya.ai, FlexM, FOMO Pay, Hacker Trail, RL Club, and Unscrambl. These startups work on technology solutions across industries such as retail, recruitment, and finance. The startups will have access to technical and business mentoring by Oracle and industry experts, state-of-the-art technology with free Oracle Cloud credits, full access to a co-working space within Oracle’s premises, as well as access to Oracle’s global ecosystem of startup peers, customers, investors and partners.Launched in April 2016, the Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator Program is an initiative driven by Oracle R&D. The program focuses on encouraging innovation in the enterprise through collaborations with startups that foster co-development and co-innovation.The Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator is open to technology and technology-enabled startups. Global locations include Bangalore, Bristol, Delhi–NCR, Mumbai, Paris, São Paulo, Singapore and Tel Aviv. The Startup Cloud Accelerator is working with F6S, an online network of startup founders, to generate applications for the eight accelerator programs. The six startups are:         Arya.ai is an enterprise deep learning platform designed to automate complex data science tasks involved while building neural network based application or predictive models and in production. The platform is optimised for autonomous applications that can learn and re-learn in real-time without any human input.         FlexM is a fast-growing Singapore-based fintech company working toward the financial inclusion of migrant and foreign domestic workers. FlexM’s complete and seamless financial solution is designed specifically to consist of consumer card, payroll solutions for businesses, and prepaid global cards.          FOMO Pay is a one-stop QR code payment solution platform that enables merchants to accept a full suite of new payment methods including WeChat Pay, NETSPay, mVISA, and more. With FOMO Pay, merchants can unlock their business potential by giving customers the payment options they prefer and adopt cashless payment easily.         Hacker Trail is a curated, cloud-based marketplace for the technology industry, designed to source, engage, curate and connect the right candidates with the right job opportunities across Southeast Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, HackerTrail engages with candidates from over 80 countries and serves top multinational companies and fast growing startups in the region.         RL Club is a rewards and loyalty club mobile app that rewards consumers for brand engagement and advertisement consumption. It solves loyalty for enterprise by building and operating award-winning white-label mobile engagement platforms for telecoms and banks, enabling their customers to be paid by consuming targeted ads.          Unscrambl is an Atlanta-based startup that has developed a disruptive, next generation real-time cognitive analytics platform. Unscrambl’s solution senses events as they happen, analyses in context with artificial intelligence, and responds in real-time with optimal recommendations and actions.“We are excited to embark on this journey with Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator. As a payment solution platform, Oracle’s expertise in providing the right cloud infrastructure for enterprises is a perfect match for us,” said Zack Yang, chief operations officer at FOMO Pay said.  “I believe that this synergy between FOMO Pay and Oracle will bring our mobile payment technology to greater heights.”

View More
19-11-2017
Emphasis on EQ lacking during hiring process, say one in four CIOs

CIOs in Singapore are placing importance on their IT staff having high emotional intelligence (EQ).New independent research commissioned by specialized recruiter Robert Half reveals 100% of the surveyed Singaporean CIOs believe it’s important for their IT staff to recognise and react to other people’s emotions and their own. According to Harvard Business Review, emotional intelligence within the technology sector is now thought to be even more important due to the rise of machine learning and the need to develop new soft skills in order to differentiate humans from AI.The annual study is developed by Robert Half and conducted in July 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 75 Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in Singapore. This survey was part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.However, results from the survey show that while almost two in three (63%) believe sufficient attention is given to sourcing candidates with the right level of EQ, one in four (25%) CIOs believe the level of emphasis put on EQ during the hiring process is “too little” – highlighting the need for Singaporean companies to optimise their recruitment processes in order to source IT job candidates with the right balance of soft and technical skills. Just over one in 10 (12%) believe there’s “too much” emphasis put on EQ.According to the research, the greatest benefits of having employees with high emotional intelligence are improved leadership (59%), better project management (55%), better collaboration (48%) and increased motivation/morale (40%).“As the technology sector and machine learning continue to accelerate and impact the workplace, it’s now more important than ever for IT professionals to demonstrate high emotional intelligence,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director of Robert Half Singapore.“New technologies and digitisation have drastically changed the workplace and the way IT professionals work together. IT employees who demonstrate high levels of emotional intelligence are able to effectively communicate with their co-workers, and are generally better at managing stress and making difficult decisions under pressure. This not only cultivates a more cohesive and innovative workplace, it also generates confidence throughout the IT department, which can make the difference between success or failure in times of crisis and uncertainty for any business.”  “When hiring IT staff, identifying their level of emotional intelligence, through traits such as self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and social skills, can be more challenging for a hiring manager than identifying their technical skills. Companies therefore need a streamlined hiring process where sufficient attention is given to assessing the candidate’s EQ. Organisations can effectively do so by asking behavioural interview questions to gauge how candidates handle difficult situations, and asking references how well an applicant handles criticism, resolves conflicts, listens to others, and motivates team members,” concluded  Imbert-Bouchard.According to Robert Half, the types of EQ interview questions hiring managers ask (and interviewees should be prepared to answer) in a job interview are:If you’ve previously reported to multiple managers at the same time, how did you get to know each person’s preferences and juggle conflicting priorities? Tell me about a challenging workplace situation you were involved in, either with your peers or someone else in the company. How did you manage that challenge, and were you able to resolve it? What would a previous boss say is the area that you need to work on most? Have you taken steps to improve in this area, and if so, what have you tried to change? Tell me about a day when everything went wrong and how did you handle it? And in hindsight, how would you have handled it differently? If business priorities change, describe how you would help your team understand and carry out the shifted goals.

View More
19-11-2017
Four Korean firms form joint investment fund for AI, smart mobility

SK Telecom will join forces with Hyundai Motor Company, Hanwha Asset Management and Element AI to form a fund that will invest in startups with innovative technology and ideas worldwide.The fund, named AI Alliance Fund, will be established in the first quarter of next year with an initial investment of US$45 million (KRW 50 billion). The AI Alliance Fund will invest in startups specialized in artificial intelligence, smart mobility and FinTech in Europe, Israel and the United States. The fund will focus on equity investment in emerging startups with the next generation technology and innovative business models.The fund intends to leverage the research capabilities and the global network of Element AI, an AI solutions provider founded by Yoshua Bengio, a professor of the University of Montreal, when analyzing potential AI investment opportunities.The Korean firms expect to be able to benefit from the synergy created by their respective expertise in the areas of artificial intelligence, automotive and financial networks.SK Telecom previously launched South Korea’s first AI service NUGU and extending the AI capability to its automotive navigation system application T-map. Hyundai Motor Company opened the CRADLE, an innovation hub in Silicon Valley to seek opportunities for investment in future technology, analysis of new business and technology model and collaboration with new partners.Hanwha Asset Management has been exploring potential investment opportunities in the convergence of industrial technology. In addition, based on fintech, Hanwha seeks to introduce new financial technologies to upgrade its internal capacity and utilize them as its new growth engine.

View More
17-11-2017
New AdAsia platform to increase AI use in ads

Artificial intelligence (AI) is now entering the mainstream in the fast-evolving adtech space. Recently, AdAsia Holdings, a developer of AI-based marketing solutions, launched the AdAsia Digital Platform for Publishers. It is an integrated yield management platform featuring AI that allows publishers to explore various revenue opportunities.“In a market where social media penetration rate ranks top globally, online publishers in Hong Kong are looking at more engaging ways to reach their digital audiences. They can now be poised to leverage on additional digital opportunities and explore new revenue streams that have been powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning,” Sam Tam, AdAsia Holdings’ newly appointed Vice President, Hong Kong said in a press release.The AdAsia Digital Platform for Publishers allows digital publishers to gain revenue from various advertising networks and supply-side platforms (SSPs), using an easy-to-use, unified management dashboard. The integrated platform also supports private marketplace and real-time bidding (RTB) deals, along with AI features that include dynamic floor price optimization and dynamic ad allocation. The AI features is the result of AdAsia Holdings’ acquisition of Japanese publisher trading desk FourM in early October 2017.“This is an essential step in our bid to enable advertisers, marketers, and now publishers, to leverage on intelligent tools. Our Publisher Engagement team across Asia are poised to provide our publisher partners with the guidance needed for this development, offering an end-to-end solution for online asset monetization,” Kosuke Sogo, CEO and co-founder of AdAsia Holdings said.The AdAsia Ad Network and AdAsia Video Network are also integrated with the AdAsia Digital Platform for Publishers, providing online media owners with display, native and video demand sources through a single platform. Meanwhile, AdAsia Holdings’ flagship product developed for advertisers, the AdAsia Digital Platform, will be renamed as the AdAsia Digital Platform for Advertisers.Further reading:Spotad to optimize programmatic mobile ad buying with AIAI fueling customer experience strategies for top brandsAmplero gives customer experience an AI boost  Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

View More
17-11-2017
Ad fraud fight heats up with CAT, Indorse collaboration

The fight against ad fraud is becoming global with many new players turning to blockchain for answers.The recent to join the foray are ConsenSys Ad Tech (CAT), which focuses on decentralized applications using blockchain technology and facilitates the adoption of Ethereum-based adChain, and Singapore-headquartered Indorse, a decentralized social network for professionals. adChain is essentially the first decentralized whitelist for ad publishers that looks to encourage advertising in non-fraudulent websites.The collaboration announcement builds on Indorse official intent to be included in the adChain registry using the adToken (ADT) in the application. ADT is used by its holders to vote whether a publisher’s website is bot- or human-based, impacting the publisher’s inclusion in the adChain whitelist."adChain is a lightweight protocol by design. We have always hoped to see ad commerce conducted in a multitude of cryptocurrencies, and conducted with confidence derived from the cryptoeconomic integrity of adChain’s underlying curation system. Indorse is a great project, and we’re excited to help them realize a new revenue opportunity on IND payment rails,” Mike Goldin, lead engineer at ConsenSys Ad Tech said in a press release. Goldin is also the author of the adChain whitepaper.Indorse is building a serverless, decentralized network where professionals are rewarded for platform growth. It offers users total control over their own data as they build their own professional profiles and share their skills on the platform. Based on the current model, they can earn financial rewards from the revenues received from advertisers purchasing space on the Indorse platform with Indorse Tokens (IND).Indorse’s listing is a commitment by the company to fight against ad fraud. Advertisers, who pay for impressions using IND will gain from blockchain benefits of transparency, auditability and immutability, while being assured that their ads will be seen by humans.“This exciting collaboration allows advertisers to be confident in the quality of impressions. Members of the Indorse platform will be able to earn IND tokens for their efforts and actions on the platform such as having their skills ‘Indorsed’ and added to their profiles. ConsenSys Ad Tech is a fantastic ally to have as we move to a decentralized infrastructure of the web3.0 internet,” Gaurang Torvekar, co-founder and CTO of Indorse said.Further reading:Can blockchain reinvent marketing?Chinese money set to shape adtechWinter is coming as adtech and martech converge Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

View More
17-11-2017
HK and Korea sign MOU to promote trade

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with its counterpart in Korea, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), to promote economic cooperation and trade between Hong Kong and the Republic of Korea. The signing took place on 15 November, ahead of the official opening of the HKTDC's Seoul office on 21 November. The MOU was signed in Hong Kong by Margaret Fong, executive director of HKTDC, and Kim Jaehong, President and CEO of KOTRA.Enhanced cooperation The MOU aims to strengthen both parties' cooperation in promoting economic partnership and trade between Hong Kong and Korea. The sectors covered include creative industries, services industries, start-ups, technology, lifestyle products, food, toys, gifts and housewares. Under the MOU, the HKTDC and KOTRA will exchange information on economic cooperation, trade facilitation, industry development and new business opportunities in both markets. The two parties will also help promote each other's trade fairs.Strong business ties Korea is Hong Kong's sixth-largest trading partner and fifth-largest source of imports. In the first nine months of 2017, bilateral trade surged 26% year-on-year to US$28.2 billion, while Hong Kong imports from Korea grew 32.3% to US$22.9 billion. During the same period, the city's total exports to the country increased 4.5 per cent to US$5.3 billion, making Korea the city's 10th-largest export market. Major imports and exports between the two economies include semiconductors, electronic valves and tubes, as well as telecom equipment and parts. In June 2017, 148 Korean companies operated regional headquarters, regional or local offices in Hong Kong, up nearly 10% from a year ago. Korean companies in Hong Kong are involved in financial services, logistics, transportation and cosmetics, among other sectors. Korea's cumulative foreign direct investment in Hong Kong amounted to US$3.3 billion as of the end of 2015. Hong Kong and Korea signed an Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in 1997, and a Comprehensive Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement in 2014. In the last financial year ending March 2017, more than 16,000 buyers and over 840 exhibitors from Korea took part in HKTDC product and services fairs. Caption: Margaret Fong, Executive Director, HKTDC, and Kim Jaehong, President and CEO, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency, sign MOU to promote economic cooperation and trade

View More
16-11-2017
FS jobs returning to Hong Kong

Specialist recruiter Robert Half revealed the findings of a new research that suggests Hong Kong’s financial services companies are increasingly bringing their offshored operations back to the city as companies are being affected by rising costs and lackluster service in offshore regions.The research has found more than half (53%) of Hong Kong’s financial services CFOs have increased their level of onshoring – transferring offshored business operations back to Hong Kong – in the past two years, compared to 9% who have decreased their onshoring activities. A further 57% have increased their level of nearshoring – transferring operations to a nearby country in preference to a more distant jurisdiction – in the past two years.Ranked as 4th by the Global Financial Centres Index, the shift in recruitment strategy could potentially lead to more jobs in the financial services sector.RELATED: HK FSIs struggling to adapt to the pace of digital changeThe research found that 53% of financial services CFOs in Hong Kong have increased their level of onshoring – transferring offshored business operations back to Hong Kong – in the past two years, compared to 9% who have decreased their onshoring activities.Rising costs (66%) and service quality complaints (58%) were cited by CFOs for the increased their level of onshoring. A lack of efficiency (43%) and skills shortage in the offshored regions (38%) were further cited as key reasons for transferring offshored business operations back to Hong Kong.Adam Johnston (photo right), Managing Director at Robert Half Hong Kong said: “Operating within a global trading and financial hub, Hong Kong’s financial services companies are increasingly under pressure to remain competitive by maximizing performance and decreasing costs. In order to do so, many organizations are increasing their level of onshoring and bringing key business operations back to Hong Kong, potentially leading to an increase in local employment for financial services professionals.”In an indication that offshoring is not just a cost decision, but also a matter of dealing with the skills shortage in Hong Kong, 51% of financial services leaders would consider shutting down offshore activities and return their operations to Hong Kong if the specialized skills they require would be available locally.Onshoring can result in tangible benefits for Hong Kong companies. Almost half (44%) of Hong Kong’s financial services leaders who have returned business activities to Hong Kong say it has resulted in increased cost efficiencies, followed by increased productivity (43%), greater customer responsiveness (39%) and an increase in service quality (33%).“To fully leverage the advantages from onshoring key business activities back to Hong Kong, organizations need a functioning workforce equipped with the right skills. While the skills shortage in the offshored regions is a key reason to bring back activities, the lack of skilled talent on a local level is simultaneously hindering other companies from onshoring their business operations back to Hong Kong. The right staff can mean the difference between companies operating at peak performance and returning lackluster results,” explained Johnston.He commented that to combat the local skills shortage and have their workforce operating at an optimal level, financial services companies need to invest in adequate staff development programs to remedy any critical skills gaps.“When it is not possible to upskill existing staff with business-critical skillsets, employers need to recruit qualified professionals – on either temporary or permanent basis to meet strategic and operational objectives,” he concluded.  Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
16-11-2017
Partnerships, technology and security take center stage at Singapore FinTech Festival 2017

The second edition of the Singapore FinTech Festival witnessed several announcements relating to payments, collaborations andsecurity in the financial space, with a keen focus on harnessing technology to optimize processes and steer the industry forward.Managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Ravi Menon (pictured) kicked off the event highlighting the growth of digitalization in the Asia Pacific. “According to Bain & Company, in the past year alone, the number of online-engaged consumers has surged by 50% to 200 million people,” said menon. “And FinTech – or the application of technology to financial services – has been at the forefront of this digital renaissance.“1 in 3 digitally active users globally already consider themselves regular users of FinTech services. In China, that figure is nearly 70%.”Menon further emphasized the importance of FinTech in Singapore’s drive to maintain its position as one of the world’s top financial centers. Maximizing FinTech’s benefits while minimizing its risks should be the way forward, Menon said.More banks in Singapore have opened up their APIs with the aim to benefit consumers, Menon said, citing the examples of OCBC Bank (43 open APIs) and DBS Bank (170 APIs and more than 50 successful collaborations with FinTech players in addition to the launch of an API developer platform) and UOB (recently launched a regional open banking API platform).Expansion of LATTICE80’s premisesChief among the day’s announcements was the declaration that LATTICE80, the FinTech Innovation Hub launched last year in Singapore’s central business district, would have its premises expanded from two floors to the entire building. The 100,000 square feet facility will be dedicated toward housing FinTech startups.Linking PayNow with Thailand’s PromptPaySingapore’s bank-agnostic mobile payment system PayNow will soon be linked with a similar system in Thailand named PromptPay, with the aim to enable real-time, 24/7 domestic payments from one bank account to another.The MAS and the Bank of Thailand have agreed to join hands to link both systems. Upon completion of the project, someone in Singapore will be able to instantly and securely send money to someone in Thailand, and vice versa, using just their mobile phone numbers.Collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)The MAS and MIT have entered an R & D collaboration in FinTech, where local FinTech talents will be able to work alongside MIT’s researchers on pilots and solutions. Pilots will be run using distributed ledger technology (DLT), cryptography, quantum computing and big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning.S$27 million AI and data analytics grantThe MAS is launching a S$27 million “Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics Grant”, part of the S$225 million “Financial Sector Technology & Innovation Scheme”.The new grant aims to support the adoption and integration of AI and data analytics in financial institutions and also help financial sector professionals up-skill and adapt to new technologies.Pages1 2 3 » last »

View More
15-11-2017
Wearables find purpose in enterprise retail says ABI Research

Retailers are beginning to use wearable technology to improve processes and customer satisfaction. Staff wearables provide shop floor staff with access to information such as stock levels, as well as to facilitate communication with team members. This allows customer requests to be resolved faster and ensures that the employee continues to interact with the customer, improving the overall shopping experience.ABI Research forecasts enterprise retail wearable shipments will reach nearly 10 million in 2022, increasing from just 2 million in 2017, a CAGR of 38%. This makes retail one of the fastest growing enterprise wearable verticals, with numerous devices improving store operations. Devices such as smartwatches, smart glasses, wearable cameras, wearable scanners, and hearables are all seeing an increase in adoption within the retail market.“As online retailers are gaining in strength, the remaining physical stores are searching for ways to encourage customers to return and shop with them. Wearable devices provide shop staff with the ability to look up stock-level information, request help from colleagues, and upsell other products, which helps to assure that the customer’s needs are met,” said Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research.RELATED: The long road to digital retailThe ABI Research report “Staff Wearables: Closing the Retail IoT Loop report” noted that many different wearable devices are ensuring that customer requests are dealt with more quickly and more efficiently. Smartwatches provide workers with access to notifications about what work they should be completing, as well as information about product and stock. Having this information in a quick and easy to access form allows a worker to rapidly resolve a customer’s query, such as if an item is in stock and where it is located, without having to leave the customers side and physically search for it.Smart glasses with technologies such as GoInStore’s application allow in-store shop workers to connect to online customers, giving them the ability to demonstrate and describe all a product’s features, without requiring the customer to go to the store. This improves their satisfaction level, as it is a more convenient way to shop while still receiving the personal assistance they require.Wearable cameras, such as those from Pinnacle Response, provide retail workers who experience robberies or threats of violence with a way in which to record interactions. These devices help to calm down potentially violent situations, as it alerts the potential criminal to the fact that their actions are being recorded, and if that does not work, then the recordings are used as evidence. Hearables, such as Onyx by Orion Labs, allow workers to quickly communicate with colleagues, no matter where they are located, such as the stock-room, on the road, or in a different store, to ensure that customer requests are dealt with quickly.Other devices, such as lone worker protection wearables from companies such as Skyguard, aren’t designed to improve customer satisfaction, but rather improve employee satisfaction, yet another important factor for retail companies. These worker protection devices give retail workers who are alone, such as early in the morning, late at night, or when accepting deliveries, a way to record potentially dangerous interactions and/or call for help if required.  Employees who feel safer on the job will stay on the job.Lawrence concludes that “wearable devices are becoming a vital part of many enterprise verticals, and the retail sector is no different. Improving customer satisfaction with such devices will help to ensure that customers remain loyal and continue to shop in an in-store environment.”These findings are from ABI Research’s Staff Wearables: Closing the Retail IoT Loop report. These reports are part of the company’s Wearables, Usables, and Expendables research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights. Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
15-11-2017
Social media critical to e-commerce reaching US$708 billion in sales in 2021

E-commerce in the US, like other markets in the world, continues to flourish enabled by devices including both online (PC/Laptop) and mobile. It is reshaping the US retail market as new technologies converge to enable even better consumer experience across multiple channels.The expansion of e-commerce retailing continues to grow unabated, accelerating with each new digital retailer born, every new expansion of physical delivery services, and the intensifying desire of consumers to shop when, where, and how they want.Javelin Strategy & Research estimates that in 2016, e-commerce sales reached US$518 billion and forecasts this figure to grow to more than US$700 billion by 2021.And it is not a one-sided opportunity. According to the research firm, e-commerce represents a dual opportunity; first of physical store sales conversion to digital channels and second IoT (Internet of Things) marketplace, where connected devices will use digital channels to make purchases on behalf of their owners.TRENDING: HK retailers’ biggest challenge in 2018According to the Javelin study “E-Commerce Forecast 2017: A Digital Disruption is coming to a Store near You” identified the constituent drivers of e-commerce and what makes them tick.Consumers (ages 18-44) who shop across both mobile and online channels are the power users of e-commerce. More than 6 in 10 consumers ages 18-44 have made a mobile purchase in the past 90 days, in comparison with 1 in 3 or fewer consumers 45+. Adoption of e-commerce is high across all consumer age groups; however, this broad adoption is largely restricted to online shopping in which PCs and laptops are used.Figure 1:  Source: Javelin Strategy & Research, 2017“FIs have a unique opportunity to build consumer trust in e-commerce as a “remote” shopping channel,” said Michael Moeser, Director of Payments at Javelin Strategy & Research. “For people to allow IoT devices to make purchases on their behalf, FIs can play a bigger role by working with payments networks and IoT providers to offer different payment options.”  Caption: Image from iStockPhoto

View More
14-11-2017
Prudential Singapore trials machine learning-based claims assessment

Prudential Singapore (Prudential) is trialing a machine learning-based solution that assesses claims in seconds.The solution sits at the core of a new customer e-claims platform which Prudential is making available to selected policyholders on a trial-basis.The first phase of the trial, set to commence in late November 2017, will focus on automating the processing of PRUshield pre- and post- hospitalization claims from eight major hospitals in Singapore. Claims from these hospitals form bulk of the 14,000 paper bills and receipts that Prudential’s claims assessors review each month. The trial aims to simplify the assessment process by allowing participants to upload scans or images of bills and invoices through a customer portal. This is expected to reduce the time that claims assessors spend on handling paper-based submissions. The system’s machine learning capabilities aim to progressively shorten the claims assessment time from seven days down to mere seconds by the time the trial ends in the first half of 2018. ProcessOnce a participant uploads and submits a claim on the trial e-claims system, the inbuilt text-mining engine identifies and categorizes payable and non-payable line items. The intelligent machine-learning engine then assesses the validity of the claim and recommends an outcome (approve, partial approve or decline) and the payment amount.The system has been trained and back-tested using claims data from the last two years. In the first phase of the trial, claims assessors will review the machine’s recommendations and provide feedback to the engine for continuous learning until its deduction capabilities reach an acceptable level.Prudential intends to fully launch the e-claims platform with straight-through processing capability in the second half of 2018.Theresa Nai, Chief Operating Officer at Prudential, said the move towards high precision, data-driven decision-making is part of the company’s wider digital roadmap to improve productivity and make insurance simpler for customers.“We are continuously working on new technology solutions such as e-claims that will increase the convenience for our customers. Internally, e-claims cuts down the amount of manual work required and enables our people to focus on more meaningful customer engagement initiatives,” she said.

View More
14-11-2017
DBS launches private cloud data center

DBS Bank has partnered Equinix to transform one of its traditional data centers in Singapore into a cloud-optimized facility.This new initiative will enable the bank to move its main data center to significantly smaller premises, which are a quarter of the size of its existing data center. The new center is expected to be 75% cheaper to run.The bank has been working on migrating to cloud-optimized technology in recent years, resulting in efficiency saves while increasing storage and computing capacity by 7x since 2014. With growing business volumes and digitalization, compute workloads at the bank have doubled in the last three years and are expected to see continued significant growth. The Equinix collaboration is expected to improve the bank’s ability to be even more agile and scalable. It will also contribute towards advancing the bank’s sustainability agenda by improving energy efficiency by at least 10 times.DBS is an early adopter of cloud technology and has announced that it would shift 50% of its compute workload to the public cloud by 2018. Last year, the bank launched cloud partnerships with Amazon Web Services and Pivotal Cloud Foundry, empowering it to innovate and operate at start-up speeds. It has also leveraged Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity technology, Office 365, in the workplace, enabling employees to change the way they work, making a leap forward in terms of mobility, efficiency and productivity. As a result, DBS today operates in a hybrid cloud environment, which is optimized for rapid changes of capacity and functionality.The banks’ aggressive drive towards cloud technology for its applications underlines its commitment to digitally transform the bank from client facing functions all the way to backend processes. This will enable the bank to better serve its customers who increasingly prefer to transact digitally.David Gledhill, DBS’ Group Chief Information Officer and Head of Technology and Operations said, “By being a leader in adopting cloud technologies, DBS can deliver more customer value through our ability to experiment and scale quickly. Our teams are able to iterate and deliver products to our customers at a much faster rate, while adhering to the highest standards of security and resiliency. With the new cloud data center, we are able to significantly increase our energy efficiency as well as drastically reduce our carbon footprint.”

View More
CyberLink Vol.110 October 2017

Klook raised US$60M, the largest funding ever for in-destination service booking platform

Read More >
CyberLink Vol.109 September 2017

Cyberport FinTech Delegation to London lays important groundwork for future success

Read More >
CyberLink Vol.108 August 2017

GOGOVAN merges with 58 Suyun to become largest intra-city logistics platform in Asia

Read More >