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科技新聞

15-09-2017
創科創投基金

政府已於2017年9月15日推出「創科創投基金」。該計劃現正接受風險投資基金申請成為共同投資伙伴(截止日期:2018年1月15日)。簡介會將於2017年10月3日於香港科學園舉行,歡迎風險投資基金出席。

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22-09-2017
Salesforce to debut three Einstein features

Salesforce is going big on AI, and it is good news for sales and marketing teams. The leading CRM company that many CMOs use as the foundation for their customer-based insights is going deeper into AI territory with three new enhancements: Einstein Forecasting, Einstein Opportunity Scoring and Einstein Email Insights.“Now, equipped with predictive and intelligent capabilities, Sales Cloud Einstein has cracked the traditionally flawed forecasting model, bringing AI to every step of the sales cycle,” said Adam Blitzer, the EVP and GM of Salesforce Sales Cloud in a press release.According to the press release, the new additions aim to “bring AI to every step of the sales cycle, from building pipeline and closing deals to growing the business.”Einstein Forecasting is targeted at sales leaders to CFOs, and aims to make business forecasting more predictable. It eliminates the problem of incomplete spreadsheets and old methods for sales projection forecasting, by using historic CRM data for more accurate forecasting.For CMOs, the new feature will help them to get a better picture of the pipelines, and improve their marketing funnel accordingly. For sales leaders, it will increase the number of deals closed against forecasts, reduce missed quotas and avoid revenue shortfalls.“Accurate sales forecasting has been a longstanding challenge for many companies. By combining intelligence, pipeline transparency and key sales data, Einstein Forecasting provides a crucial view of sales revenue indicators that helps business leaders correctly predict business growth,” said Sheryl Kingstone, a research director at 451 Research.Next, Einstein Opportunity Scoring identifies, surfaces and prioritizes the most valuable deals within the firm’s Sales Cloud. It also monitors deals in progress to highlight any high-value opportunities that may be in trouble. Simply put, it tells them which deals will close, and which deals are in trouble and needs better attention.The new feature keeps sales leaders focused on deals that matter, improve their ability to finely track outcomes and build a better pipeline. CMOs can gain by understanding where some deals are faltering and boost their marketing campaigns accordingly. Finally, Einstein Email Insights offers a new personal email assistant to all sales representatives. Using natural language processing (NLP), it highlights emails that are most important, and recommends the appropriate response or action. This helps to solve email inboxes that are cluttered with thousands of emails, and allows reps to take proactive actions on deals that are important.The new Einstein features are currently in pilot and expected to be generally available in the first half of 2018.Further reading:Salesforce adds AI to its CRM for better customer experiencesTwo trends marketers need to watch out for in 2017 Publicis, Microsoft to create new AI capabilities for CMOs Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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22-09-2017
Know your money launderer

It’s just business! That would be the statement of fact that money launderers would when explaining what they do. As a business, it is money laundering represents the fifth largest economy in the world and equates to 2-5% of global GDP according to the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime.Accounting for almost US$2 trillion each year, money laundering remains a recurring problem for most economies in the world. The latest Basel AML Index report ranks New Zealand as having the lowest money laundering risk in Asia Pacific. Singapore is ranked 4th lowest while Hong Kong is at 7th and Malaysia at 8th place.At the opposite end of the table, the bottom of the list had Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar holding the less than glamorous appealing reputation.RELATED: How sidestepping AML in Asia worksIn the booklet “The Invisible Network” BAE Systems lists six criminal types responsible for money laundering around the world, to help global businesses understand the motivations and modus operandi of criminals targeting their business.The Source – White collar fraudsters and organised crime gangs making illegal profit from their crimes. As a result of operating outside the law they need their money ‘cleaned’ before it can be used. The Leader – Leaders are clinging to power and stripping their country of wealth to line their own pockets. Their outcast status causes the Leader to resort to subterfuge to hide their funds and spend money on the things that keep them in power. The Bystander – Bystanders don’t facilitate crime but are happy to turn a blind eye while their mysterious client lines their pockets. The Watched – People on international watch lists who could either be corrupted or facilitate corruption for a price. The Shark – Sharks enable crime by helping move illicit funds through the banking system, profiting themselves along the way. The Shop Front – Legitimate-looking businesses that exist to launder money, catering specifically to criminals. Divya Khangarot, head of Sales South East Asia at BAE Systems said: “The regulatory landscape in Singapore is changing rapidly as MAS increases its activity to fight money laundering, but there are still gaps that need to be addressed. There needs to be a new era of collaboration between the financial services industry, law enforcement, regulators, technology partners and compliance specialists. Helping business to understand the motivations and modus operandi of the people behind money laundering is a critical first step to helping organizations successfully protect themselves against this threat.” Caption: Image by iStockPhoto

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22-09-2017
Myanmar to get contactless payment in October 2017

Coming this October 2017, Co-Operative Limited Bank (CB Bank) plans to make available in Myanmar contactless payments acceptance. CB Bank will facilitate the development of a network of Mastercard Contactless-enabled merchants across over 5,000 of its access points in Myanmar by the end of 2017, including supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations.“The launch of contactless payments is an important step forward for Myanmar’s e-payment journey. Contactless payments delivers greater convenience and security to consumers and merchants and is widely adopted as a preferred payment mode all around the world,” said Donald Ong, Country Manager, Thailand and Myanmar, Mastercard. What is interesting about this announcement is that a little over a year before this announcement by Mastercard and CB Bank, the two organizations made a similar claim to launching the country’s first contactless payment service in the form of CB EasiTravel Prepaid MasterCard Contactless card the (click here to see the 2016 announcement). The difference was that the 2016 announcement was focused on contactless payments for Myanmar consumers traveling outside the country.What is consistent is the intent to provide payment experience that is fast, safe and convenient according to U Kyaw Lynn, CEO & Vice Chairman at CB Bank.The October launch will see contactless payment extended locally for everyday purchases.

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22-09-2017
Grab improves accuracy of fare estimations, ETAs with HERE’s Live Map

Ride-hailing platform Grab has improved the accuracy of fare estimations, ETAs and trip routing for its more than 60 million passengers through an expanded partnership with global map data and location services provider, HERE Technologies.Grab drivers and passengers now benefit from some of the region’s most accurate and fresh map content, thanks to HERE’s three-dimensional representation of the physical world within its HD Live Map.The cloud-based map, which sees a fleet of HERE True vehicles continuously map the road network down to 2 cm accuracy, supports driver safety through automated car features and connected Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS).“Southeast Asia is developing quickly, with new roads and new rules emerging every day,” said Jerald Singh, Head of Product at Grab. “By layering local map data on top of HERE’s comprehensive location data, we can optimize driver-passenger interactions and further streamline our backend dispatch systems.”The partnership will see HERE provide location services in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, which Grab will combine with real-world on-road data sourced from its 1.3 million drivers - Southeast Asia’s largest land transport fleet.HERE will also provide its extensive Places of Interest (POIs) database gathered through public sector and enterprise partners such as Samsung, Amazon and Microsoft, and as well as real-time traffic data sourced from connected vehicles and devices.Overcome challengesThe data-sharing partnership will overcome the challenges of operating in rapidly developing countries, such as Myanmar and the Philippines, which have no established national address system. For example, HERE has almost completed a two year 45,000km mission to create the first ever comprehensive digital map of the Philippine road network.HERE’s vehicle cameras and LiDAR technology capture over 500 different attributes such as road geometry, speed limits and road signs to create a high definition machine readable 3D map down to two-centimeter accuracy.HERE’s Matrix API forms the foundation of the collaboration, enabling Grab to improve the way drivers are assigned to passengers. In addition, HERE’s Basic Routing API provides ride hailers with more reliable ETAs and corresponding fare estimations.  

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21-09-2017
Lion Air picks Ideagen Coruson for safety management

Lion Air Group, the largest private airline carrier in Indonesia, is to enhance aviation safety management with software from Ideagen. Ideagen Coruson, Ideagen’s enterprise cloud-based software, will be implemented as an organization-wide safety, reporting and risk management solution. The software will provide Lion Air Group with safety performance oversight across its six affiliated AOCs, delivering detailed performance data to quickly highlight potential safety weaknesses and risks, such as those linked to pilot fatigue or aircraft incidents. Coruson will replace an older system, helping to strengthen the airline’s safety culture through functionality such as smart forms, GEO tagging and a mobile app for detailed reporting. “Ideagen Coruson will be our dedicated safety, quality, risk and reporting solution and it will provide us with excellent functionality to enhance a number of areas within the organization, particularly our safety reporting and risk management,” said Jose Fernandez, group safety and quality director at Lion Air Group. “Our current system offers no easy way to gauge safety performance across any of our affiliates, resulting in difficulties when trying to assess overall airline performance,” said Fernandez. Coruson will change this. Based in Jakarta, Lion Air Group flies to more than 183 routes across all corners of Indonesia from Sabang to Merauke as well as through several international countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, India, China and Saudi Arabia. “Coruson is scalable and the main value we will see from the system is that scalability and ease of deployment across three countries and six AOCs,” said Fernandez. “The number of services we will be able to offer will continue to grow because of the aviation market in Indonesia, which continues to grow rapidly,” added Fernandez. “Ideagen Coruson will tie in nicely with our ambitious growth plan.” Ideagen currently has more than 300 aviation clients across the globe, including Emirates, the International Airlines Group, Ryanair, Thomas Cook, Flybe and KLM.

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21-09-2017
Adobe, Microsoft roll out joint solutions

Adobe and Microsoft recently delivered their first set of joint solutions to help enterprises transform their customer experience with Adobe Experience Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Dynamics. Adobe Sign, the e-signature service in Adobe Document Cloud, is now Microsoft’s preferred e-signature solution across the company’s portfolio, including the 100-million monthly commercial active users of Microsoft Office 365. In addition, Microsoft Teams, the new chat-based workspace in Microsoft Office 365, is now the preferred collaboration service for Adobe Creative Cloud, Document Cloud and Experience Cloud.  Also, Adobe will make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform for Adobe Sign. Together, Adobe and Microsoft will ensure individuals and teams can efficiently collaborate, communicate and drive decision-making across devices.  Beyond the partnership announced today, the companies will explore opportunities to continue collaborating on artificial intelligence, analytics and intelligent document automation, taking productivity in the cloud to the next level. “Adobe and Microsoft are working together to redefine what the modern enterprise experience looks like with collaboration, identity, data and intelligence at the core,” said Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis. “Together we will develop integrated cloud services with best-in-class solutions like Adobe Sign and Office 365 that help businesses digitally transform while delivering great experiences to their customers.” “Together with Adobe, we’re committed to fostering creativity and a culture of teamwork for our shared customers, so they can unlock the opportunities of today’s rapidly evolving workplace,” said Peggy Johnson, EVP for business development at Microsoft. The first integrations resulting from this partnership are expected to be available to customers in the coming weeks — integration between Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Sign; Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Stock integration with Microsoft Teams; Adobe Sign integration with Microsoft Teams; Adobe Sign integration with Microsoft Flow.

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21-09-2017
Medix boosts HKU’s undiagnosed disease program

Medix announced it is supporting The University of Hong Kong's (HKU) program for the advancement of knowledge, understanding and diagnosis of undiagnosed and rare diseases in children. The support will be of both financial contributions and access to peer to peer consultations with Medix's global specialists. These specialists would be able to provide additional information and insights, including overviews of current clinical trials and research to assist in reaching an accurate diagnosis for the programme's patients. "We are involved in various initiatives to advance knowledge in medicine and specifically see great importance in supporting the public healthcare systems,” said Medix Group president Sigal Atzmon. “As a leading medical and research institution, we are very proud to support HKU's Undiagnosed Disease Program.” Atzmon said the value of providing clarity and a concrete diagnosis to patients suffering from a serious condition is immeasurable and aside from enabling physicians to develop a relevant treatment plan it also provides great comfort to the patient and their families.  “Since rare conditions usually do not receive adequate funding or attention from big pharma companies and governments, knowledge and understanding of these conditions is often limited,” she said. Undiagnosed Disease Programs are special programs that evaluate and provide care for patients who have a severe, chronic medical condition but have not yet been accurately diagnosed despite extensive efforts by their physicians. These programs use multidisciplinary consultations and rely on advanced technology, research and testing methods in the areas of genetics and genomics to determine a diagnosis and develop a suggested treatment protocol for the patient.   In collaboration with Queen Mary's Hospital paediatric ward, HKU's program focuses primarily on children. Patients are offered advanced genetic testing and consultations that may not otherwise be available to them. Preliminary results at HKU show a diagnostic rate of over 30%, comparable to internationally reported figures. Medix also offers global Personal Medical Case Management services in HK. Through the service customers can receive accurate and personalised treatment while empowering them to make informed medical decisions.

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21-09-2017
Golden Equator, C&R launch healthcare incubator in Singapore

Golden Equator has launched the Korea-Singapore Healthcare Incubator jointly with Korean regulatory and clinical research provider C&R Healthcare Global (C&R).  Golden Equator is a group of companies spanning investment, consulting and the SPECTRUM technology and innovation business club. The Incubator will help 10-15 Korean companies expand into Singapore and Southeast Asia over the next few months. It will be based at SPECTRUM’s business club in DUO Tower near Singapore’s central business district. Based on a memorandum of understanding that the parties signed earlier this September, C&R will identify and financially support Korean companies operating in medical devices, medical technology, cosmetics and cosmeceuticals. Golden Equator will provide the companies a suite of services — access to investors and business partners, advisory and commercialization insights, and regional expansion and market entry strategies. “The healthcare industry in the Asia-Pacific region is a $500-billion market, one of the world’s fastest growing regions,” said Shirley Crystal Chua, founder and CEO of Golden Equator. “Innovations in this area, notably new technologies such as artificial intelligence and data analytics, present unique investment opportunities,” said Chua. “Supporting Korean firms to locate in and understand the market opportunities here in Singapore and across Southeast Asia demonstrates our capabilities in working with high potential founders, firms and innovations around funding and commercialization.” Moon Tae Yoon, chairman of C&R, said the MOU will allow both companies to mutually share their expertise.  Through this, C&R can build an ecosystem which allows companies in the Korean bio-healthcare industry to expand globally. Referring to the Korea-Singapore Healthcare Incubator, SPECTRUM CEO and co-founder Cheryl Lee said the group will be working hard to expand their partnerships with governments, investors and the private sector to enable firms from a wide variety of sectors to internationalise out of and into Southeast Asia. “Singapore’s first multi-vertical technology and innovation business club – SPECTRUM – provides companies with a new way of matching ideas and strategies with funding and market access,” said Lee.

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21-09-2017
OnKol remote patient monitoring uses Gemalto IoT connectivity

OnKol's mHealth solution is using Gemalto’s IoT connectivity technology through a wireless module. The smart hub connects the elderly and those with special needs to their family and caregivers, allowing them to live in their own home safely, independently and comfortably. Designed for stylish simplicity, the OnKol hub removes barriers to technology adoption and encourages engagement without intimidation. Straight out of the box, it can notify family members, caregivers, and even medical professionals of everything from vital signs to medication reminders to emergency response situations. Equipped with Gemalto's M2M module, the above remote patient monitoring services are securely managed over-the-air to simplify deployment, personalization and software updates. The patient can easily connect health and home monitoring devices, like blood pressure cuffs, heart-monitors, and smoke detectors, and Gemalto's module encrypts and sends the gathered information to the OnKol platform where it is delivered to caregivers and can even be logged into the patients' electronic medical records. OnKol CEO Erich Jacobs said Gemalto's technology allowed OnKol to deliver a hub that is effortless to set up, use, and scale to support OnKol business growth in the future. "We were able to work with OnKol to create an innovative product that has not yet been seen in the market and is customized to its end user's specific needs,” said Rodrigo Serna, Gemalto’s SVP for mobile and IoT services in the Americas. “By enabling simple and reliable communication, Gemalto and OnKol are helping older individuals to maintain their independence and create peace of mind for their caregivers,” said Serna.  With the population of older individuals due to double in size by 2030 and the ratio of potential caregivers to decrease by over 50%, new technology must rise to meet the need for quality care. However, adoption rates amongst elderly patients have been low as current mHealth options are often too complicated.

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21-09-2017
GetDoc offers Alipay-style payments for patients

GetDoc has launched its own version of Alipay payment for patients to pay their medical bills in clinics, in its bid to be the first of its kind app in the healthcare industry offering a worry-free, hassle-free, cash-free and card-free experience.  Dubbed GetDocPay, the aim of this feature is to “almost do away” with cash transactions in clinics.    During a soft launch last July, as many as 100 clinics in Klang Valley in Malaysia readily accepted this service and welcome payments to their clinic via GetDocPay. GetDoc started out as just an appointment booking application but now have grown beyond that. They now offer many other health related services, such as multilingual health education portal, A-Z Health info, various preventive healthcare treats, health events and talks, healthcare IoT wearables, company healthcare management system and more. GetDoc helps healthcare consumers to reduce their waiting time by making it easy for them to make appointments with the doctors that patients want, all of which can be done within a few clicks. The service is available 24/7 and it’s free. “Imagine you are sick and unwell, you have dragged yourself to the clinic, but shocked to find out that you only have few notes left in your wallet,” the company said in a statement. “The ATM is far away from the clinic, and you need to take the medication from the counter immediately.” GetDoc said all you need to do is take out one’s handphone, logon to the GetDoc mobile application and make instant payment to the clinic, in just a few clicks, and within just a few seconds. “With GetDocPay, a patient does not have to worry about not having your wallet with him or her, nor worry about not having enough cash or people looking at one’s bulky wallet when you visit the doctor,” GetDoc said. “Most important of all, you can pay the medical bill for your loved ones too, anytime and from anywhere, without being present at the clinic,” the company added.

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21-09-2017
IAB looking to blockchain for fraud detection

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Tech Lab, which sets global ad technical standards for digital publishers and adtech firms, is getting serious about blockchain.In a recent blog published by members Richard Bush, chief product and technology officer at NYIAX and Michael Palmer, global director product at {m}platform, GroupM, the group said it is setting up a new working group to study blockchain.Both writers acknowledge that blockchain has grown up in terms of advocates and adoption. Currently, there are many initiatives that aim to use blockchain to overcome key challenges in digital ads. The working group aims to set a new framework to help guide the development of new standards and protocols as blockchain adoption for ads picks up.In the blog, both writers noted that blockchain’s ability to keep a fully verifiable and immutable ledger or database available to all members of a particular group or market makes it attractive. It can help to alleviate the pains payment processing or fraud prevention. “Such a fundamental technology should not be ignored, it should be embraced, and this is why we are forming this group,” wrote Bush and Palmer, who noted that key projects are already using blockchain as the foundation.Following the success of the Content Taxonomy standards, the IAB Tech Lab will seek input from players across the industry before introducing and implementing standards and protocols for using blockchain in the digital ad space.The move highlights the maturing role that blockchain is playing in the digital ad industry. Instead of being seen as a disruptor, IAB Tech Lab sees it as a problem solver for the industry’s key ails. These include eliminating ad fraud and streamlining payment issues that continue plague the industry and erode trust among advertisers.Initially, the working group will focus in key areas that aligned with these industry challenges. Specifically, these include fraud, measurement, discrepancy reconciliation for billing purposes, financial transactions, and validation of ad resources and assets.“Additionally, we will assess if blockchain technology can offer definitive advantages and new opportunities of scale. The working group will evolve standards and protocols and adapt them for blockchain technology,” they wrote.Further reading:Can blockchain reinvent marketing?Legal finally catching up with click fraudMarketer-agency model is under delivering, says Forrester Caption: Image credit: iStockphoto by Getty Images

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21-09-2017
ABSS launches cloud-based automated accounting software for small businesses

Asian Business Software Solutions (ABSS) has launched Financio, a cloud-based automated accounting software for micro and small businesses in Singapore.Developed by ABSS and powered by Microsoft Azure, Financio does not require any accounting knowledge to operate and has been designed to be used by non-accountants.Users can track sales, purchases and miscellaneous transactions through a simplified dashboard, and automatically generate financial reports and tax records or forward transactions to recipients via email and inventory tracking. Through ‘Financio Connect’, businesses are also able to collaborate and share documents on the platform, claims the company.“SMEs make up 99% of Singapore’s enterprises, employ two-thirds of the workforce, and account for about half of Singapore’s GDP,” says Paul Conway, Chief Executive Officer, ABSS. “Financio is intuitive and simple to use - It takes away most of the bookkeeping process from the business, and all users need to do is put in the sales and purchase figures. The system will do the rest such as double entries, generating reports and GST tax records.”Early adopter In Singapore, Clove Bridal Studio, a professional photography agency has chosen to be an early adopter of Financio’s premium version to streamline its financial processes.Fiona Liu, Sales Director, Clove Bridal Studio said: “As entrepreneurs in this information age, we were looking for an all-in-one solution that could help us simplify the traditional time consuming bookkeeping methods, and putting our focus on delivering more value for our customers and growing the business. With Financio, we have digitised our accounting operations with the cloud and will save over S$1,000 and 100 man hours a year.”Jye Eng, Chief Technology Officer, Financio said: “Financio is currently powering more than 4,500 small businesses across Southeast Asia today, and saving over 384,000 man hours a year. We are seeing more customers adopting software-as-a-service (SaaS) on a subscription service basis, and realising the benefits of accessing data on the go. Companies that are processing information offline should now be looking to do this online.”Financio also offers features that include multi-currency support, real time backup, Singapore GST support, file storage for attachments to transactions and is also available in Malaysia. ABSS is also looking to deploy its solution to SMEs in Philippines, Hong Kong and Indonesia.Small business owners can use Financio for free for up to 10 invoices monthly, and upgrade to the premium version with a low entry cost of S$9.95 a month at financio.co. 

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21-09-2017
Fresh grads expect swift professional dev’t or else they’ll jump ship

Fresh graduates in Singapore expect swift professional development and the opportunity to earn higher wages within the first 12 months of their first jobs – or else they’ll jump ship.However, employers are concerned that young local talent are too focused on money as a motivator, with 50% calling fresh graduates “unprofessional” by making the mistake of bringing up salary and compensation in the first job interview, rather than focusing on the job role and fit.This new research by Monster.com has uncovered numerous mismatches between talent and employer expectations when it comes to the fresh graduate job seeker experience.According to the survey of over 500 graduate talent and employers across Singapore, 30% of fresh graduates choose to leave their first job after less than year, citing a lack of professional development (67%) and a desire to earn more money (42%) as the main reasons – despite it taking 47% of them up to three months to get hired in the first place.Across the region, 80% of employers believe their company provides sufficient support for fresh graduates to excel and grow – even though 37% admit most fresh graduates stay with them for no longer than two years.Biggest challenges of fresh gradsHowever, young talent said some of their biggest challenges in their first jobs were around a lack of leadership and support transitioning into working life. While the majority said their biggest challenge was a lack of industry knowledge (61%), a lack of mentorship (34%) also played a big role in their decision to leave.Twenty-seven per cent said they didn’t think they “were fully prepared for work life”, while 25% struggled with long work hours, and 23% said they lacked enough feedback and support from direct managers to succeed.“There are two interesting aspects to consider here. Clearly young talent expect to move quickly in their first jobs – they want promotions and pay rises, and they crave the leadership and support necessary to get there,” says Sanjay Modi, Managing Director, Monster.com – APAC and Middle East.“While this could be a call for employers to take note and act quickly to retain young high potential talent, it’s also a wake up call to fresh graduates to give themselves time to fully grow into a role and figure out where their strengths lie.”“The majority of employers are in agreement that young local talent have unrealistic expectations when it comes to salaries and pace of growth, but many might be failing to realize just how big a consideration money is. To overcome this, a strong onboarding process is needed to manage expectations, as well as a structure around training, learning and development to ensure young talent feel they are being invested in, and that they are considered an important part of the company’s future.”Biggest mistakes made during job interviewsThe survey also asked job seekers and employers about the biggest mistakes made during job interviews, and what hiring managers actually care about reading on a CV.Across the region, 67% of employers say they spend less than three minutes reading any given CV – 50% spend 1-3 minutes scanning it, while 17% will only glance at your resume for less than 60 seconds.When considering a CV, employers care most about any experience a seeker might have that is relevant to the role (68%), followed by qualifications and education (58%) and ensuring the resume is well-written and easy to read (45%). Interestingly, they don’t care much about proper spelling and grammar (11%), links to your portfolio of work (8%) or any volunteer experience you might have (5%).Singaporean job seekers agree that the hardest part of writing a CV is tailoring it to a specific role (26%). When it comes to job interview mistakes, 60% of Singaporeans say not asking questions is their biggest regret, following by not doing enough research on the company (51%). Just 10% believed focusing too much on salary discussion was a mistake.  

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21-09-2017
HSBC enlists aide of students and startups in cybercrime fight

Financial crime is a vast, global industry. The United Nations estimates that up to US$2 trillion is laundered globally each year by criminals engaged in activities such as human trafficking, terrorism and the trade in illegal drugs. These activities threaten people and communities everywhere, as well as the integrity of the financial system upon which we all depend.In Hong Kong well-funded and sophisticated criminals harm the community through fraud schemes such as Business Email Compromise. Their techniques include “CEO fraud” scams in which a fraudster impersonates a company’s boss and instructs an employee to make a wire transfer which is received by the criminal gang.HSBC threw a salvo at the cybercrime community with the launch of its HSBC Safeguard App Competition in Hong Kong. The competition challenges the city’s best to develop app prototypes that help solve real challenges for banks in ensuring they have up-to-date customer information.RELATED: Diversity and language hinder HK banks quest for cyber threat readinessIn enlisting the support of the community, Diana Cesar, Chief Executive, Hong Kong, HSBC, acknowledged that up-to-date, accurate information is a critical weapon for all banks in ensuring we prevent criminals from accessing the financial system. “HSBC’s aim is to harness local talent and technological know-how to help us collect up-to-date information about customers in a way that is simple and convenient for them. I cannot wait to see the great ideas that emerge,” she added.In the HSBC Safeguard App Competition contestants are asked to solve one or both of two real-world challenges for the banking industry:For retail customers: customer information changes every now and then, but customers may not notify their bank. This can make it challenging for banks to authenticate transactions, while it may also be difficult to alert customers when needed. How can technology be used to ensure that changes in personal information can be synchronised with the bank’s records, with customers’ consent? For business customers: traditional means of contacting customers, such as by phone, post or email, may not always be effective, especially when customers are away from Hong Kong. How can banks enhance their ability to contact the right people within business customers’ companies, wherever they are?The competition website provides a suite of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which participants can use to develop their app prototypes for either iOS or Android.The APIs are provided by the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI), the competition’s Technology Enabler, which has developed a blockchain-based virtual platform that contestants can install on their own computing equipment.Prizes on offer for the first, second and third-placed solutions include up to HKD100,000 for student participants and up to HKD300,000 for the startup entrants. The winners could also potentially receive seed funding from HSBC. RELATED: Aligning information security to how financial institutions operate in Asia

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21-09-2017
Fintech innovations don’t solve widening trade gap says ADB

Businesses of all sizes continue to struggle to access sufficient credit, resulting in a global trade finance gap of US$1.5 trillion in 2016, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB) Brief. Developing Asia’s share of the trade finance gap was 40% of the global total.In its fifth annual study, 2017 Trade Finance Gaps, Growth, and Jobs Survey, ADB quantifies market gaps for trade finance and explores their impact on growth and jobs through a survey of over 515 banks and 1,336 firms from 103 countries.While the global trade finance gap stabilized in 2016 compared to the 2015 record high of US$1.6 trillion, it still translated to missed growth opportunities and job creation.“A sizeable trade finance gap is a drag on trade, growth, and job creation,” said Steven Beck, Head of Trade Finance at ADB. “We hope the results of the survey will encourage private and public sectors to ramp up collaborative efforts to improve businesses’ access to trade finance. Our Trade Finance Program (TFP) is here to assist and address these market gaps.”Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) have the biggest difficulties in accessing trade finance, representing 74% of total rejections last year, compared to just 57% in 2015. This high rejection rate means foregone trade, which is a drag on overall economic growth.RELATED: Fintech is opportunity says HKIB membersThe ADB study suggests that a 10% increase in trade finance globally could boost employment by 1%.Findings in the study revealed that one of the biggest reasons financial institutions are reluctant to provide trade finance to small businesses is rooted in the cost and complexity of anti-financial crimes due diligence and the perception of low returns on financial support from smaller firms (reported by 29% of banks).Awareness and usage needs improvementSurvey respondents believe that Fintech and digitization can be a solution to a lack of MSME finance, although awareness and usage of this technology has to be improved. And while Fintech is reducing the cost of delivering finance to companies, there is no evidence it is reducing market gaps.“More than reducing cost, Fintech needs to deliver an enhanced capability for financial institutions to conduct due diligence on MSMEs before it can play a role in reducing gaps,” said Beck.TFP, backed by ADB's AAA credit rating, provides guarantees and loans to over 200 partner banks to support trade, enabling more companies throughout Asia to engage in import and export activities. With dedicated trade finance specialists and a 24-hour response time, the program has established itself as a key partner in the international trade community.TFP complements its financial support with a regular series of workshops and seminars to increase knowledge and expertise in trade finance products and operations, risk management, and fraud prevention.Since 2009, TFP has supported more than 10,900 small and medium-sized businesses across developing Asia — through over 16,300 transactions valued at over $28.6 billion — in sectors ranging from commodities and capital goods, to medical supplies and consumer goods. ADB launched a Supply Chain Finance Program to complement its successful trade finance operations.First published on CFO Innovation Asia Caption: image from iStockPhoto

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CyberLink Vol.108 August 2017

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

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CyberLink Vol.107 July 2017

Cyberport start-ups shine at the global arena of RISE

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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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