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21-07-2017
Australian shoppers favor biometrics over security PIN

More than half of Australians would prefer to use fingerprints, voice or retina scans in place of PINs when making payments and 25% ready for artificial intelligence to do their shopping."Australian shoppers are at the forefront of the global evolution of commerce, providing a big opportunity to merchants and financial services providers to similarly lead their international counterparts in innovation. Over the past few years, we've seen developments that have significantly changed our payment experiences – from Visa payWave to wearables, such as smartwatches and even rings,” said Stephen Karpin, Group Country Manager for Visa in Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific.According to new research commissioned by Visa, 29% of Australians are ready to use an internet-connected device, like a smart home virtual assistant or connected fridge to make payments on their behalf.Karpin added that: "As the Internet of Things and biometric capabilities become integrated into our everyday experiences, we'll experience a significant shift in how payments are made. In our lifetime, we will see infinitely more choice in how Australians pay, from watches, fridges and mobile phones, to eyes and fingers. And we'll experience personalization that we never thought possible, powered by artificial intelligence.”Visa estimates over three billion of its cards are circulating globally with about 44 million merchants accepting the Visa card as payment. The card company predicts that with the introduction of connected devices and the continued growth of digital commerce, those numbers will expand 30 billion different ways of paying and 400 million physical and digital acceptance points.According to Futurist, Anders Sorman-Nilsson, ease of use will drive consumers to adopt new patment and commerce experiences. “Connected, AI enabled devices ready to pay will only be pervasive if the experience is easy, seamless and secure,” he added.Many of the new payment methods currently using smartphones rely on biometrics for authentication. More than half of respondents surveyed by YouGov (56%) said they are comfortable using their thumbprint, voice or retina for payment. According to the research, the appeal of biometrics is that it is more secure (45%) and the need to not have to remember a pin/password (40%) is driving consumer adoption and readiness.But while consumers are keen to embrace biometric authentication, less than half (39%) of respondents were willing to share their personal information in exchange for convenience in payments.Karpin attributes this hesitation to prevailing privacy concerns. Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto Caption: photo courtesy of iStockPhoto

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21-07-2017
Philips & Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings to open US$72 mil oncology center

Royal Philips and the Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings (SAM) today announced a collaboration with Varian Medical Systems and IBA Worldwide to build the new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre based at Biopolis, the international biomedical research hub in Singapore. The oncology center will provide imaging, treatment delivery and clinical informatics technologies with the intent to comprehensively address the region's fast-growing number of people confronted with cancer. SAM is driving the collaboration by investing up to SGD 100 million (approximately USD 72 million) towards the development of a center of excellence for oncology in the Southeast Asia region.Improving patient outcomesThe new research, training and treatment center will provide oncology solutions for use by healthcare professionals and researchers. Projected to open in stages from 2018 onwards, the center will also aim to provide a platform for professional training to meet the evolving needs of the healthcare industry. Through research, clinical trials and development of cancer treatment therapies, the Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre will house "new innovations and treatment protocols developed via a multi-disciplinary approach for better and more personalized patient care, potentially improved outcomes and a better on-going quality of life for patients" according to the press release."The new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre aligns with the founding goal of the Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings to provide earlier detection and first-time-right diagnosis of cancer as well as safer, more cost effective treatment by advancing care enabled through research, technology and education," said Dr. Djeng Shih Kien, Founder and Chairman, Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings. "I am proud to be leading this milestone with our partners, marking a step forward in the treatment of cancer, which affects much of humanity."Bringing together technologiesThe Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre will house a range of Philips' advanced diagnostic imaging systems and clinical informatics."Cancer affects people from all walks of life and is among the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for more than 4 million deaths in Asia in 2016," said Diederik Zeven, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips ASEAN Pacific. "Philips is enabling the advancement of medical research through our deep heritage in healthcare innovation and collaboration with medical partners. The new Advanced Medicine Oncology Centre is well-positioned to spearhead cancer research and treatment in Singapore and the region and we are very proud to be a strategic partner.""This center will be the first installation of Varian's ProBeam Compact proton therapy system, which is designed to enable space-constrained sites such as this to offer state-of-the-art technology for cancer patients," said Dr. Moataz Karmalawy, General Manager of Varian's Particle Therapy division. "This center will open up additional opportunities for both education and research. Singapore is joining an exclusive group of countries that have facilities like these to advance our understanding of not only proton therapy, but also immunotherapy and other cell-based treatments."A growing concernBesides cancer, age-related health diseases are a growing concern with Asia-Pacific projected to comprise two thirds of the world's elderly by 2050. In the longer term, the center will also manage a number of diagnostic and therapeutic medical specialties by housing world-class imaging solutions to address cardiovascular and neurological disorders such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease. Caption: Diederik Zeven, General Manager, Health Systems, Philips ASEAN Pacific (Left) with Dr. Djeng Shih Kien, Founder and Chairman, Singapore Institute of Advanced Medicine Holdings (Right)

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21-07-2017
Wellness Open Living Labs & Osaka City University sign collaboration agreement

Wellness Open Living Labs (WOLL), co-founded by Eisai, and Osaka City University have concluded a basic collaboration agreement aimed at solving health science-related problems, such as dementia, and extending healthy life expectancy. Based on this agreement, WOLL and Osaka City University will collect and analyze health data, cultivate human resources, such as researchers involved in solving health problems, advance the development of the latest cutting-edge technology and academic research related to health problems such as dementia, and verify and commercialize solutions.  WOLL is a limited liability company, funded by 15 entities which support its objectives. Meanwhile, Osaka City University, under its slogan of "a glocal hub of wisdom and wellness, full of smiles", works to strengthen industry-academia-government collaboration and regional contribution activities in the field of health sciences, and based on a "basic collaboration agreement relating to extending healthy life expectancy" concluded with Osaka City in February, performs "think-tank" function for the purpose of extending healthy life expectancy in Osaka City.  Leveraging the experience gained in developing / marketing in the field of dementia treatments, Eisai has obtained the cooperation of various stakeholders, including local governments, healthcare professionals and care workers, and is working to create communities where people with dementia live with peace of mind. WOLL is the first limited liability company co-established by Eisai for the purpose of developing and providing solutions, and aims to externalize medical and care problems rooted in communities, and to investigate / develop / verify solutions in order to fulfill needs. Caption: Photo courtesy of Osaka City University

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21-07-2017
APAC CROs worry over bad data

An AxiomSL survey of 132 senior-level risk and regulatory executives in North America and Asia-Pacific (APAC) in June 2017 revealed that regulatory challenges continue to be top of mind among respondents with nearly half indicating intent to increase investment in risk and reporting compliance solution in 2017.Among respondents in APAC the primary challenge is allocating the necessary resources and capital (66%). Fifty-nine percent of APAC respondents said improving data aggregation and reporting is another top concern, and 57% selected adapting to upcoming regulatory changes.In contrast, 66% of North American respondents cited adapting to upcoming regulatory changes as their biggest challenge within the next three years while 55% said improving data aggregation and reporting. Thirty-eight percent said allocating necessary resources and capital toward ensuring compliance.RELATED: Video: Integrating transparency into a compliance strategyCEO of AxiomSL’s APAC region, Alexander Tsigutkin (photo right) said that despite the differences in priorities, they all agree that one of the biggest challenges is adapting quickly to upcoming regulatory changes. “To this end, firms need to ensure they have an agile technology platform that seamlessly interfaces across business functions to optimize business automation processes and controls while delivering workflow transparency and data lineage,” he added.APAC execs having nervous jitterAPAC executives have become significantly more concerned about their organizations’ ability to comply with upcoming regulations over the last year. More than two-thirds of APAC respondents (69%) said they are more worried this year compared to last year, while just 13% said they are less concerned and 18% reported no change.“It’s difficult to predict with complete accuracy which new regulations will take effect, and when,” said Peter Tierney, CEO of AxiomSL’s APAC region. “What is clear is that firms need to be more forward-looking and strategic, not only preparing for regulatory changes on the immediate horizon, but also investing in technology that can be leveraged and optimized to operate in a range of different regulatory climates.”Increase tech InvestmentForty-four percent of APAC respondents said their organizations plan to increase investment, in risk and regulatory compliance solutions in 2017, compared to 2016.When asked which risk and regulatory technology investments their firms plan to make in the next three years, APAC executives cited data management (61%) and reporting (67%). Other top areas of investment are risk and capital analytics (37%) and cloud computing (24%).Mistrust of dataThe survey also revealed doubts about data integrity with 53% of respondents in APAC said they don’t trust the accuracy of their organizations’ data. Inadequate data lineage and process governance as top reason (31% in APAC).Feature photo courtesy of iStockPhoto Caption: photo courtesy of iStockphoto

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21-07-2017
NUS establishes additive manufacturing facilities for biomed, signs collaboration MoUs

The National University of Singapore Centre for Additive Manufacturing (or AM.NUS) was launched today by Mr Amrin Amin, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Health, at the Additive Manufacturing Healthcare Summit. The establishment of AM.NUS is jointly supported by NAMIC and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). With an initial funding of S$18 million from NUS, NAMIC and EDB, AM.NUS will focus on developing and applying ground-breaking additive manufacturing (AM) technology in the biomedical and healthcare fields. The new centre will also leverage NUS’ expertise from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Dentistry and School of Design and Environment, to boost the university’s capabilities in the field of AM-enabled biomedical technology.“The NUS Centre for Additive Manufacturing will play a critical role in supporting Singapore’s vision of becoming a leading AM hub. Through this inter-faculty pooling of expertise, we hope to boost technology capabilities as well as advance intellectual property development and commercialisation of AM-enabled biomedical technologies,” said Professor Jerry Fuh Ying-Hsi, Co-Director of AM.NUS, who is the Thrust Lead of Restorative Repair & Implants and from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the NUS Faculty of Engineering.“We have targeted the biomedical sector, as the end goal is to introduce new innovative products to the market which can improve patient outcomes and healthcare delivery,” added Associate Professor Wilson Wang Ee Jen, Co-Director, AM.NUS, who is also from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.AM.NUS will drive AM R&D in the biomedical sector along the following key thrusts:Developing surgical instruments, simulators and prosthetics – Researchers from the Division of Industrial Design at the NUS School of Design and Environment aim to create customisable surgical tools and simulators for educating the next generation of doctors or simplifying difficult clinical tasks. The team will also design functional prosthetics using AM technology. 3D Printing-enabled customised medicine – Researchers from the Department of Pharmacy at the NUS Faculty of Science are exploring use of AM-enabled drug formulations and individualised control of dosage/ drug release. Bio-printing for tissue repair – Scientists from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine will be studying new solutions to regenerate and replace damaged tissues by using advanced materials and scaffold printing techniques, combined with tissue engineering. Restorative repairs and implants – Researchers from the NUS Faculty of Engineering are exploring functional printing and developing ceramic and metal AM materials and processes, in order to bring novel and more biocompatible implants to market. Oral health and craniofacial applications – The NUS Faculty of Dentistry will be leading educational efforts in advanced computer-aided oral surgery and surgical planning. The Faculty will also conduct research on the use of AM in dental implant design and tissue engineering.AM.NUS consists of two laboratories – one located at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the other at the Faculty of Engineering. These facilities are equipped with the latest AM equipment, including powder-, plastics- and liquid- based printers, 3D scanners, CAD image processing and design software, as well as testing and validation facilities.AM.NUS will also run AM-related courses for post-graduate students, deepening the local talent pool within this field. Graduates will learn and gain hands-on experience in AM processes, materials technologies and design for AM principles. This will enhance the quality of customised products and services and raise the productivity of many industry sectors as a whole.New industry collaborationsAM.NUS will work closely with industry partners to develop and transfer AM technologies for biomedical applications. At today’s ceremony, the following four industry partners signed collaboration Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with AM.NUS:Creatz3D – This local SME will partner AM.NUS to develop next-generation medical training and educational simulation. Dou Yee Enterprises – This mid-sized local company with established bases of manufacturing in Asia, using metal injection moulding technologies, will collaborate with AM.NUS to develop capability for 3D printed precision parts. Forefront Additive Manufacturing – This local precision engineering company will be leveraging AM.NUS’ biomedical capabilities to grow its business in the healthcare space. Osteopore International – This local SME that specialises in AM will partner AM.NUS in the design, development and clinical trials of 3D-printed bioscaffolds for orthopaedic applications.“AM.NUS will bring together NUS technologies with industry expertise, enabling the accelerated translation of NUS technologies into innovative healthcare products and services. The Centre is already working on a total of 17 collaborative projects, and has raised about S$4.7 million in additional project funding,” said Dr Lily Chan, CEO NUS Enterprise.“As a cluster founding member, together with NTU’s Singapore Centre for 3D Printing and SUTD’s Digital Manufacturing and Design Research Centre, the NUS Centre for Additive Manufacturing will play a vital role in NAMIC’s translational research and industry adoption efforts, further strengthening Singapore’s efforts to become a global 3D printing technology hub. As the industrialisation of 3D printing gains momentum, our goal is help the sector achieve better patient outcomes, addressing the needs of our bio-medical and patient community with cost-effective and personalised healthcare solutions,” said Dr Ho Chaw Sing, Managing Director NAMIC. Caption: Image courtesy of NAMIC.

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21-07-2017
BTPN targets Indonesia’s growing mobile banking customers

Respondents to the Pwc 2017 Indonesia Banking Survey reveal that 52% of Indonesia banks see technology as the main driver of bank transformation over the next 3-5 years. Respondents say that e-banking is the #1 investment priority (see Figure 1).Surveyed banks also affirm that while branches continue to be the preferred channel for banking, customers are clearly moving towards mobile and internet channels (see Figure 2). According to PwC, in this regard foreign banks enjoy greater traction with customers via their mobile and internet channels.  Figure 1: Banking channels are shifting in IndonesiaSource: Pwc 2017 Indonesia Banking SurveyFigure 2: Technology drives digtial transformation among banks in IndonesiaSource: Pwc 2017 Indonesia Banking SurveySeeing this trend, PT Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional Tbk. (BTPN) has embarked on a digital transformation strategy of its own, including enhancing how it targets and engage Indonesia’s growing mass affluent customers with its Jenius digital/mobile banking app solution.According to BTPN, Jenius is a hybrid implementation that is digital at the core but leverages the bank’s physical outlets in a targeted way. Jenius has already seen strong take up, overachieving on BTPN’s original app download goals. It also has significant potential to grow given the penetration of smartphones in the region and the large underbanked population.Peterjan van Nieuwenhuizen, Head of Digital Banking at BTPN said, “BTPN is committed to pioneering banking to suit customer lifestyles. We have built a system [Jenius] that enables our customers to complete basic banking processes without going to the branch. With an expanding middle class and growing mobile internet use here, we saw the significant opportunity this creates for financial services. Our philosophy is ‘do good, do well’ and we want to embody that in all aspects of the bank. Our customers look to us for innovation and fast, efficient services.”Powering Jenius is Finastra’s FusionBanking Essence Digital platform, which according to Finastra removes complex banking processes, enabling the bank to create highly personalized and easy digital experiences for its customers. Fast and secure sign-up and authentication make banking on the move simple.In addition to meeting customer demand for multi-channel digital banking experiences, FusionBanking Essence Digital enables BTPN’s Jenius to attract better-priced funding and more deposits from a new market segment as well as to bring products to market faster. Modern software architecture has enabled the bank to quickly transform digital solutions into powerful sales engines and increase revenue opportunities. It will also enable it to continue evolving alongside the broadening digital landscape in Indonesia.

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21-07-2017
Counteroffers are ineffective in bid to retain staff: study

Despite being assumed to be ineffective in today’s competitive employment market, counteroffers are still common practice in Singaporean companies.According to independent research commissioned by specialized recruiter Robert Half, the overwhelming majority (96%) of Singaporean CFOs extend counteroffers, despite more than half (59%) of the same CFOs saying the employee ended up leaving the company.Extending counteroffers appear to be common practice in Singaporean businesses as one in three (30%) CFOs apply this practice ‘often’, more than four in 10 (42%) ‘sometimes’ and 5% ‘always’. Less than one in five (18%) say they ‘rarely’ make a counteroffer and merely 5% say they have ‘never’ extended one.However, further acknowledging the ineffectiveness of counteroffers, almost six in 10 (59%)  business leaders who have made a counteroffer indicate the employee ended up leaving the company, with 20% saying the staff member stayed less than a year, 22% citing the employee stayed for over a year, and 9% saying they stayed less than six months.“Even though extending a counteroffer can be an immediate reaction to a top employee resigning, offering a financial incentive to remain with the company is just delaying the inevitable as oftentimes the reason why they want to leave the company goes beyond purely financial reasons,” says Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, Managing Director at Robert Half Singapore.“Even if the counteroffer is accepted, a higher salary does not always equal better performance and stronger loyalty. Employers would be better placed to withhold a counteroffer and immediately start the hiring process to replace them.”Cultural fit is main driver Cultural fit is the main driver for 60% of CFOs who have made a counteroffer as the employee fits in well with the company and team. More than half (59%) cite the desire to retain knowledge within the company as one of the main reasons for making a counteroffer, while 57% point to the additional costs related to the hiring, onboarding and the professional development process.“Not only are counteroffers ineffective in retaining employees for the long-term, they can also set a negative precedent for employers as it gives an indication to staff  that threatening to resign is a successful way to receive a pay rise, all whilst creating rumors of favoritism thereby undermining staff morale. A better approach is to have a blanket policy to not extend counteroffers to resigning employees as it’s not an effective, nor a cost-saving staff retention measure.”“Instead of reacting when an employee decides to resign, Singaporean employers need to take a proactive approach to their staff retention initiatives to avoid staff turnover. Knowing what drives staff members and taking appropriate measures, as well as regularly reviewing salaries should be key elements of any company’s staff retention policy,” concluded Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard.  

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21-07-2017
Women outperform men in seed crowdfunding

While more men use seed crowdfunding than women, women are more successful in reaching their finance goals than men in all sectors and geographic regions across the globe, according to a new report released by PwC.This analysis of over 450,000 seed crowdfunding campaigns from nine of the largest global crowdfunding platforms shows that female-led campaigns were 32% more successful at reaching their funding target than male-led campaigns.Crowdfunding is a disruptive innovation which has provided new routes to funding for individuals, startups and growth businesses. It enables them to engage and interact directly with the market and with thousands of backers, supporters, customers and potential partners like never before.Seed crowdfunding is the use of ‘rewards based’ crowdfunding platforms to fund the creation, launch or development of new businesses, products and services where backers pay upfront for a product, service or project.Since its inception, seed crowdfunding’s footprint has continued to spread with the levels of finance raised through the nine platforms analysed in this report jumping from $10 million in 2009 to over $767 million in 2016, with backers from over 200 countries.While men typically seek higher funding targets, female-led projects achieve a greater average pledge amount than male-led projects: on average each individual backer contributes $87 to women and $83 to men (a difference of almost 5%).Even in more male dominated sectors, such as the technology sector, where there are nine male-led campaigns to every one female-led campaign, female-led campaigns are more successful, 13% to 10% respectively.The US and the UK are the most thriving countries for seed crowdfunding with the largest volumes of campaigns. In both countries, 20% of male-led campaigns reached their targets compared with 24% and 26% of female-led campaigns respectively.However, men continue to use seed crowdfunding substantially more than women and raise substantially more finance than female-led campaigns; 89% of campaigns raising over $1 million were male-led campaigns compared with 11% of female-led.The report finds that while men clearly use seed crowdfunding more than women, women are more successful at crowdfunding then men. Seventeen percent of male-led campaigns reach their finance target, compared with 22% of female-led campaigns. Overall campaigns led by women were 32% more successful at reaching their funding target than those led by men across a wide range of sectors, geography and cultures.Women-led campaigns performed better in terms of securing their funding goals than campaigns led by men when we segregate the data for every sector and every country.In countries with the largest volumes of seed crowdfunding, the UK and the US, 20% of male-led campaigns reached their targets. Yet female-led campaigns outperformed, with 24% of women in the US and 26% of women in the UK successfully reaching their campaign funding target.This trend continues in countries where seed crowdfunding is not yet as wide-scale or successful. For example, 11% of female-led campaigns in Africa were successful compared with 3% of male. And in E7 countries (China, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Indonesia and Turkey), 10% of female-led campaigns reached their goals compared to 4% of male-led campaigns.Even in what some consider to be more masculine sectors, for example technology, where we see nine male seed crowdfunders for technology ventures to every one female crowdfunder, 13% of women were successful in achieving their funding goal compared to just 10% of men. Similarly, in the digital technology sector, where there are three male-led campaigns to every one female-led, women achieved a 16% success rate compared to just 9% for men.Stark contrastFemale crowdfunding success is in stark contrast to established funding mechanisms for business startups and growth in which women-led businesses continue to face barriers to accessing finance.There is however room for even greater progress.  Significantly more men are seed crowdfunding than women and as result men raise substantially more finance via this channel.Men are also more ambitious in establishing higher funding goals than their female counterparts and we see them dominate in the highest funded campaigns by sector. The report highlights that 63 campaigns raised over $1 million but of these, only seven (11%) were led by women, with the most funded campaign created by a woman placing number 18 on the list.“Significant opportunity still remains for women to become more active and represented in crowdfunding and to be more ambitious when establishing their finance raising goals,” says Sharmila Karve, PwC Global Diversity Leader.“We hope the success of female crowdfunders highlighted in this report motivates more budding and established female entrepreneurs to explore crowdfunding and invoke confidence and belief in their entrepreneurial talent and opportunities.”Above all, this crowdfunding data shines a more visible light on both the challenges and opportunities to which we must respond. Eradicating any potential barriers that seem to be more prevalent in traditional finance routes provides opportunities that will benefit women and men, business and society. The report outlines actions that governments, funders, business advisers, educators, entrepreneurs, women and men can take to seize these opportunities and eradicate any such barriers. 

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21-07-2017
EFA Group launches investment fund for SMEs in Asia

EFA Group, an independent asset manager specializing in credit strategies, has launched a new investment fund that will provide receivables and supply chain financing to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).Focusing on companies in Asia, the EFA Supply Chain Finance Fund (the "Fund") will provide the vital working capital that these companies need to grow but which is difficult to access in their local markets.A 2016 Asian Development Bank study showed that the trade finance gap in developing Asia to be almost US$ 700 billion. The Fund aims to fill in this gap by providing financing and freeing up cash flow of the SMEs.Loans range from 30 to 180 days and financing will focus on a diverse pool of SMEs ranging from IT and media services, to pharmaceuticals and electronics. The Fund expects to deploy a financing turnover of US$300 million in 2018."While EFA's other investment vehicles have traditionally targeted corporates in the commodity industry, the EFA Supply Chain Finance Fund will mark the Group's expansion of its direct lending solutions to a wider range of industries. With our headquarters in Singapore, we have over a decade of experience originating, structuring and managing direct lending transactions in Asia, so it makes perfect sense to focus our portfolio in this region," said the Fund's Portfolio Manager, Etienne Van den Bogaert.EFA currently provides over US$2 billion of loans to 150 mid-market companies annually through its existing funds which provide trade finance and asset-based finance loans. 

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21-07-2017
Why CMOs should care about supply path optimization

Remember header bidding? It was the ad tech jargon that CMOs and advertisers had to contend with. Essentially, it allows publishers to offer their inventory to several ad exchanges at the same time.The problem with header bidding is that ad tech vendors and ad exchanges had to handle the additional overheads regarding infrastructure costs.It spawned a new adtech jargon – SPO. Standing for Supply Path Optimization, it aims to use algorithms or manual processes to weed out any ad inventory duplications, sidestep ad auction tactics that are not in the advertisers' interest, and reduce overall DSP and SSP costs, commonly termed as "ad tech tax."There are two types of SPO: algorithm-based and manual. The former essentially uses programs often placed between DSPs (demand-side platforms) and SSPs (sell-side platforms) to filter bid requests to increase performance and streamline associated costs. The latter sees buyers and DSPs (demand-side platforms) using manual techniques to optimize bids for better performance and reduce costs.Why do you we need an SPO?The reason is because the adtech model has changed. In the past, it was simple to gauge the value of an SSP by seeing where they occupied within a publisher’s ad server. Today, with wrappers (or containers) and header tags, it is not easy.So, when a buyer via a DSP wants to point to a certain SSP, it is no longer easy to differentiate. It is because many SSPs pass the same publisher inventory, with the same priority and price tag.SPO aims to help buyers to decide by looking at five main areas: how an SSP makes money, are they authorized to sell or mere resellers, fraud prevention, is it a first or second-price auction, how the SSP informs if an impression is from a header tag or a tag on the page.Essentially, SPO is another effort toward complete transparency regarding SSP prices and auction techniques. It also helps to fight ad fraud, which is becoming a huge headache for programmatic ad buyers.Further reading:Header Bidding throws a curveball at Google’s Ad ExchangeProgrammatic ad buying becomes people basedAdobe Advertising Cloud seeks to bridge gap between TV and digital Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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20-07-2017
Zanroo targets China, US martech markets

A Thai martech startup is now aiming to be the top 10 martech outfits in the world by 2020. Before that, it is looking to enter the lucrative China market by the end of this year and expand into the US in 2018.Not bad for a firm that was founded in 2013 in Bangkok as a two-man show. Since then, the company grew by expanding its market reach across South East Asia and Japan. It also has a global HQ in the UK. Today, the company is present in more than 15 countries and has a revenue stream of around US$2.95 million.With fresh new Series A funding of US$7.4 million, the company is looking to enter China and the US. By 2019, the company reportedly wants to be in 40 countries by 2019.“We set ourselves apart with an all-inclusive range of services. On the software front, our social listening and engagement tools can slice and dice multi-lingual content to generate actionable insights. This is extremely important for our consultancy services in which we advise brands on strategic and tactical initiatives by seizing opportunities quickly and intercept crisis effectively,” Chitpol Mungprom, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Zanroo said in a company announcement.The company tapped IBM Cloud for expansion and recently launched Arun at the MarTech San Francisco. Arun, based on the company’s proprietary technology, looks at social media ROI and aligns with real market demand. It will also be the flagship product as Zanroo expands regionally and globally.“With well-thought, well-designed algorithms, Arun has the ability to process big data quickly and intelligently. As the first of its kind, Arun aggregates paid, owned and earned media holistically for ROI measurement, thus elevating businesses across all industries to a new level. All-in-all, Arun facilitates accurate business decision making,” Udomsak Donkhampai, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Zanroo said.Further reading:Winter is coming as adtech and martech convergeStudy: Email could be the starting point for Martech and Adtech convergence3 Martech innovations that could change the face of marketing Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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20-07-2017
Shopee revs up B2C with in-app portal

Taiwanese e-commerce platform Shopee has launched Shopee Mall, a dedicated in-app space for B2C sellers that adds to existing offerings available in the Shopee marketplace. The new portal provides access to thousands of products from over 200 top sellers and leading brands such as 3M, L’Oreal, Philips and Reckitt Benckiser. Additionally, all products on Shopee Mall come with 100% authentic guarantee, free shipping and 15 days return policy. Shopee further strengthens its consumer-first policies by giving consumers more convenience. Shoppers can reap cost savings from free shipping on every order with no minimum spend. Furthermore, shoppers who wish to return their purchases can do so using the prepaid postage labels provided. Shopee Mall was conceptualized due to the increasing need for brands to provide Singaporeans with a streamlined online shopping experience. The portal aims to bolster both attributes and assure consumers by ensuring that all sellers on Shopee Mall are verified with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, a locally registered entity. This verifies a merchant's trustworthiness and ensures that all goods sold are authentic. “As we scale up our B2C efforts, customers can now shop conveniently from hundreds of leading brands,” said Zhou Junjie, country head of Shopee Singapore. “At the same time, Shopee Mall helps brands to reach out to more customers while building consumer confidence.” Shoppers can easily identify Shopee Mall product listings with the newly added red “Mall” label. Within the portal, shoppers can also navigate easily between key brands, category campaigns and personalized recommendations. During the launch period beginning July 18, Shopee Mall will offer exclusive campaigns, including opening sales of up to 80% off, voucher codes and giveaways.

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20-07-2017
Huawei bolsters Singapore’s digital economy thrust

Huawei has entered strategic partnerships with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Keppel Data Centres, and Ascent Solutions through the signing of two Memorandums of Intent (MOI) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) related to Singapore’s Digital Economy future for a Smart Nation. The partnerships aim to enhance industry collaboration, enable local companies to scale globally, empower the workforce with skills relevant for the digital economy as well as equipping companies with the technology and knowledge to build strong digital capabilities in a sustainable manner.  Huawei, IMDA, and Keppel Data Centres will focus on a two-year strategic collaboration to explore the technical feasibility of a first-of-its-kind high-rise green data centre building. Also, Huawei and IMDA will collaborate to accelerate the growth of local small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs), by leveraging Huawei’s technical expertise and facilities, go-to-market opportunities and global business network. Further, Huawei will support Ascent Solutions as its technology enabler, allowing the local company to tap on Huawei’s global business network and explore overseas opportunities. In addition, IMDA and Huawei will jointly promote deeper talent and capability building among local information and communications technology (ICT) students. This initiative will include 45 overseas training stints and internship opportunities for students to explore new capabilities in technology areas critical to the future such as the Internet of Things, 5G, and cybersecurity. The first MOI is a tripartite partnership between Huawei, IMDA and Keppel Data Centres that aims to improve energy and land efficiency of the data center industry in Singapore through the implementation of innovative technology and solutions. The second MOI, between Huawei and IMDA, is focused on accelerating Singapore-based tech companies’ growth and expansion. Through this partnership, 35 local companies will have the opportunity to access and benefit from Huawei’s breadth of technology capabilities, market insights and global business network. The MOU, between Huawei and Singapore-headquartered IoT and cargo security tracking company, Ascent Solutions, builds on an existing partnership between the two companies and extends the partnership to a global scale.

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20-07-2017
Nauto raises $159 million for expansion of autonomous vechicle business

Autonomous vehicle technology company Nauto, whose artificial intelligence-powered system and data platform is helping improve fleet safety and informing the development of self-driving technology, has closed a $159 million Series B financing round. This was led by a subsidiary of SoftBank Group and Greylock Partners. Other participants include previous strategic investors BMW iVentures, General Motors Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures and the venture unit of global financial services and insurance provider Allianz Group as well as Series A investors Playground Global and Draper Nexus. The funds will fuel Nauto’s growth and the deployment of its retrofit safety and networking system into more vehicles around the globe, as well as support the expansion of the Nauto data platform in autonomous vehicle research and development across multiple automakers. Nauto is an automotive data platform, powered by artificial intelligence and an after-market dual-camera device, which can equip any vehicle or fleet with sophisticated safety and networking features. The Nauto 2 system also includes a new windshield mounted hardware design, updated deep learning and computer vision algorithms and smart cloud network informed by the accumulation of more than a million miles on urban streets and highways. The resulting insights help improve fleet safety and operations, as well as save lives and reduce liability and expenses. Over time the Nauto data platform will inform the transition to and co-existence of human-driven and autonomous vehicles. “At a time when traffic fatalities are climbing and distracted driving causes more than half of all crashes, we’re tackling that problem by putting Nauto’s safety features into more commercial fleet vehicles — from trucks and vans to buses and passenger cars — to warn drivers and coach them on how to stay focused,” said Nauto founder and CEO Stefan Heck. “We’ll now more rapidly be able to gather the billions more miles of real driving experience and data required to get a precise understanding of how the best drivers behave behind the wheel,” said Heck.

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20-07-2017
Mobile payments used by two thirds of Singaporean consumers: Visa study

Device-initiated payments have been adopted by two thirds of Singaporeans, according to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Survey 2016.The survey was conducted by Toluna on 500 Singaporeans to assess their attitudes toward cash and card usage, mobile banking, contactless payments and online shopping.On demand servicesAccording to the survey, on-demand services are accelerating the growth of mobile payments, with close to two-thirds of respondents using such services. Such services include on-demand transportation, meal and groceries delivery.Seventy-one per cent of respondents cited convenience and efficiency as the top benefits for using such services while 35 per cent of them stated that they enjoy shopping in the comfort of their own home.Expectations of such services have also shifted in response to higher adoption. According to the survey, majority of the respondents expect their transportation (e.g. taxi or a car) to arrive within 10 minutes from the time they book the service, meal deliveries to arrive within 30 minutes upon ordering, and groceries to be delivered within 45 minutes.Peer-to-peer payments Singaporeans are also starting to embrace peer-to-peer (P2P) payments. The survey showed that seven in 10 respondents are aware of such options and one in four respondents are already using P2P services to split a bill after a meal. Benefits of using peer-to-peer payments were fuelled by merchant awareness and convenience.“Increased connectivity, coupled with the wider payment methods and form factors have transformed consumers’ experience in every aspect including payment. Based on VisaNet data, seven in 10 Visa cardholders are already making device-initiated payments and more than one in five Visa cardholders are active using in-app payments, fuelled by use of transportation booking apps,” said Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei, Ooi Huey Tyng. “The payment experience is becoming invisible and we believe this trend will continue with the introduction of more innovative players and services.” 

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CyberLink Vol.106 June 2017

Cyberport companies bag top 3 awards at Citi HK FinTech Challenge 2017

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CyberLink Vol.105 May 2017

JUMPSTARTER 2017 offers great platform to early stage start-ups 

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CyberLink Vol.104 April 2017

Cyberport launches new strategic plan to drive digital tech as an economic driver for Hong Kong  

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