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Platforms Featured South Asia

Inditrade now live on Scienaptic’s credit decisioning platform

Bangalore, India Global AI-powered credit decisioning platform provider Scienaptic AI has announced that Inditrade Capital, India’s digitally enabled lending, insurance and rural marketing enterprise is live on its platform. Through bureau, banking, and financial data, the Scienaptic platform can reliably estimate a customer’s risk level, as well as Scienaptic’s industry-tested expert scorecards. By using this solution, the Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) sector in India will be able to grow more quickly and more effectively.

Inditrade Capital leverages technology to enable progress for the under-served and marginalised. With an aim to create a sustainable social impact at the grass-root level of India’s enterprise ecosystem, Inditrade has lent over INR28B in cumulative loans to over 400,000 customers. Inditrade offers a Phygital channel to ensure last-mile connectivity. By enabling Scienaptic’s AI-powered credit underwriting platform and industry-tested expert scorecards, they will be able to provide better and faster credit access to a wider cross-section of the society and empower the 63 million MSMEs in India that often have limited access to financial assistance.

Sudip Bandyopadhyay, group chairman of Inditrade Group of Companies, shared, “When we see an individual’s entrepreneurial dreams actualizing, it is extremely satisfying. A young woman pressed by financial shortcomings and personal losses, getting back on her feet and supporting her family with the help of our MSME loan is extremely uplifting.” 

Bandyopadhyay added, “Scienaptic’s credit decisioning solution is now helping us make the most of our customer’s information to understand our customers’ risk better. As a result, we will be able to provide our customers with the right amount of credit, while ensuring our portfolio losses are minimised.”

Meanwhile, Joydip Gupta, APAC head of Scienaptic, commented, “It is an exciting time for FinTech in India. As an industry leader, Inditrade Capital provides the perfect platform for Indian citizens and MSMEs across urban and rural areas to achieve their entrepreneurial aspirations. Our credit underwriting platform along with our AI-based scorecards will enable Inditrade to extend its loans to more individuals and businesses who are often ignored under the traditional financial system, while balancing growth and profitability.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Databricks launches ‘Lakehouse for Media and Entertainment’

Singapore – Global data and AI company and pioneer of the data lakehouse paradigm, has launched the first lakehouse platform for data-driven businesses in the media and entertainment industry. The Lakehouse for Media & Entertainment enables organizations across the media ecosystem to deliver better data and AI outcomes for consumers, advertisers and media partners with a single and collaborative platform for data, analytics and AI. 

Databricks customers like Acxiom, Warner Bros. Discovery, and SEGA are among the earliest adopters. With Brickbuilder Solutions, accelerators, and a powerful partner ecosystem, businesses can create tailored customer experiences, prepare for consumer analytics at scale, and empower increased cooperation among media teams. 

The Lakehouse for Media and Entertainment integrates data solutions and use-case accelerators for essential industry use cases such as AI-driven recommendation engines, customer lifetime value and churn, quality of experience, community toxicity analysis, advertising optimization and more.

Companies may use Databricks’ powerful analytics to build a holistic view of their audience and advertisers, make real-time choices, and spur innovation. Databricks enables media companies to use all of their data – including photos, video, and other unstructured data types – to establish a comprehensive understanding of their consumers by supporting real-time analytics, business intelligence (BI), and sophisticated AI capabilities on all data kinds.

Designed to jumpstart the analytics process, Lakehouse for Media & Entertainment Solution Accelerators offers a blueprint of data analytics and machine learning use cases and best practices to save weeks or months of development time for an organization’s data engineers and data scientists. 

Popular accelerators for Databricks customers in the media and entertainment industry includes recommendation engines to create more personalised customer experiences with AI-powered content recommendations that drive engagement and monetization opportunities, followed by consumer lifetime value models that easily identify and better understand the most valuable customers with CLV models that concentrate on spending patterns and retention. In order to ensure a high-quality streaming experience, it is important to examine both streaming and batch data sets to ensure a smooth experience for the user. Through the offering, it is also possible to create healthier gaming communities by utilising natural language processing to detect toxic language in in-game user comments and discussions, and this can be done in real-time.

Along with AWS, consulting partners like Cognizant and Lovelytics are accelerating the adoption of the lakehouse platform by developing Brickbuilder Solutions for the Media and Entertainment industry, tailor-made to combine the power of the Databricks Lakehouse Platform with the proven experience of partners. The Lakehouse for Media and Entertainment launches with additional support and capabilities from technology partners Labelbox and Fivetran.

Steve Sobel, global industry leader for media & entertainment at Databricks, said that executing a strategy around data, analytics and AI is more critical than ever for media companies to remain agile, competitive and data-driven as audience demands change with the rapidly evolving media landscape.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with industry leaders like AWS, Cognizant, Fivetran, Labelbox and Lovelytics to bring the Databricks Lakehouse for Media and Entertainment to the industry, and enable media leaders to personalize, monetize and innovate in delivering smarter, 1;1 experiences for consumer and advertisers across the globe,” Sobel said.

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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

SG-based Crown Coffee gets Intel-powered robot barista

Singapore – Local based coffee shop Crown Coffee gets a new help for their shop duties—a robot barista developed by tech company Intel.

Named Ella after the wife of Crown Coffee’s CEO and founder Keith Tan, the robot does what a typical barista does: taking orders remotely via an online app, making a cup of coffee, notifying the customer when it’s ready, serving it, finalizing the bill and charging the customer’s credit card.

Built under the inspiration of Intel Singapore employees taking a break at the Crown Coffee, Tan gives thanks to Intel for materializing as to what he calls a ‘wild idea’.

“I have plenty of gratitude to Intel, as they helped me realize this idea. They listened to me, understood the problems I was trying to solve, and partnered with me to design and develop prototypes,” Tan stated.

With Ella being present at the Crown Coffee workspace, it solved many of Tan’s initial problems, including compactness of the unit, freeing up labor for efficiency, and coffee preparation safety: a vital feature put into use during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ella opens new possibilities to food retailers to enable contactless futuristic service and develop alternate revenue models with the data Ella gathers,” said Santhosh Viswanathan, managing director for Intel Asia Pacific and Japan.

“What we are doing is transformational and will be part of the landscape of smart cities where AI-driven robots become deeply ingrained into our daily lives. Also, this is New Retail, which eases retail labor shortages while providing re-skilling employment opportunities for value-added technology and engineering people,” Tan added, citing that Ella is planned to be expanded across their 40 locations on the island, and eventually to Japan.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Cashless, unmanned: you literally only need to pick out your desired items and go at this SG store

Singapore – With the meteoric rise in technology, it isn’t new anymore to hear of innovations from time to time – from robots to never-thought-of digital services, from the next rocking software to just about any tech that aims to automate and digitize every point of human activity. 

In the often dubbed ‘technological hub’ Singapore, homegrown supermarket operator NTUC Fairprice has launched a new branch under its cashless and zero-staff format for food mart brand Cheers, which is turning the ‘convenience’ business on its head. 

In the new Cheers store, a sign is displayed reading “no queues. no checkout. just walk out.”

The new branch is the fourth Cheers store to be opened of the type, where the first one was launched in 2017 at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore.

Having partnered with Visa, customers going to the store only need to pick out the items they wish to purchase and are good to go. Cheers uses an advanced A.I. system that is smart enough to detect the items that have been grabbed by customers, where payment will automatically be processed upon their exit. 

Cheers is a 24-hour convenience store with over 160 branches in Singapore. The new location is built in the integrated lifestyle hub Our Tampines Hub. Following the pilot cashless and unmanned branch at Nanyang Polytechnic, the two other tech-driven stores were put up at National University of Singapore.

NTUC FairPrice continues to embrace innovation and develop new service concepts to enhance the shopping experience for customers. We complement the efforts at promoting a self-service culture in Singapore through our unmanned store concepts along other initiatives that facilitate efficient service delivery. By collaborating with our strategic partner Visa, we are able to leverage on our respective strengths and experience to further propel the retail industry forward.

Seah Kian Peng, Group CEO, FairPrice Group

According to a Facebook post by NTUC FairPrice, to enter the store, customers need to download the Cheers SG mobile app, and add their Visa card details as their payment mode. At the gantry after the entrance, customers need to scan the on-screen unique QR code or they can use facial recognition which customers can register in the app. Purchases are automatically added to the virtual shopping cart, and charged to the Visa card upon exit.

This is the first time that Visa is partnering with our retail merchant partner to create this concept of kind in Southeast Asia, and we want to help our merchants power the future of retail and create innovative retail experiences so that consumers and businesses can pay and be paid effortlessly.

Kunal Chatterjee, Visa Country Manager, Singapore and Brunei

In 2014, Singapore announced its national Smart Nation initiative which aims to harness technological advancements to build Singapore’s status as an outstanding place of living. NTUC FairPrice said its efforts are in support of the said direction. 

Categories
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SEA e-commerce player Hermo taps martech firm Netcore for customer engagement, retention boost

Kuala Lumper, Malaysia – Hermo, a beauty and fashion e-commerce player in South East Asia, has chosen martech solutions Netcore to boost its omnichannel customer engagement and retention. 

According to an announcement by Netcore, it will be assisting Hermo through AI-powered personalization, omnichannel marketing automation, and AI-powered email delivery.

Netcore said that prior to the partnership, Hermo had a siloed approach to its engagement strategy with data scattered among tools and teams working in isolation. According to the company, during the proof of concept stage, it was able to increase the eCommerce’s revenue by 7% as well as a 50% lift in its add to cart.

Chief executive officer Ian Mok and cofounder of Hermo said, “We believe in a numbers-driven approach to marketing and our philosophy perfectly aligns with Netcore’s way of working with brands. The personalization module has been a game-changer for us, and we have the same level of confidence in Netcore’s marketing automation and communications cloud.”

Meanwhile, Group CEO of Netcore Solutions Kalpit Jain commented, “Delivering personalized experiences across all user touchpoints is a core mission of all our offerings. The team at Hermo is as cutting-edge as it can get and we are excited to arm them with the best possible Martech stack for customer engagement and retention. With our unique expertise of serving brands in the beauty and fashion niche we are confident of achieving astronomical results in an expedited time frame.”

Categories
Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Thai telecom TOT partners cloud tech provider Genesys, powers its call center with AI

Singapore – State-owned Thai telecommunications company TOT has collaborated with Genesys, a California-headquartered cloud customer experience and contact center solutions to accelerate its contact centers.

According to a press release by Genesys, TOT, as a company responsible for operating government contact centers in Thailand, experienced a surge in call volumes when the Coronavirus broke out.

To effectively manage the increase in calls, Genesys embedded machine learning and conversational AI capabilities with the use of Genesys Cloud and Google Cloud Contact Center AI (CCAI) into its system, allowing callers to now interact with AI-powered virtual agents who are able to accurately capture a customer’s intent easily, routing them to the agents most well placed to handle their needs.

Genesys Cloud is the company’s proprietary web-based unified communications solution, connecting contact center users, business users, vendors, partners, and customers; while Google Cloud CCAI is Google’s solution that helps integrate AI into contact center processes.

According to Genesys, one of the pain points it has also targeted for TOT in integrating the new solution is the company’s added complication of having less manpower to receive calls amid social distancing measures.

“The telecom provider needed a solution capable of scaling rapidly to meet the unexpected surges in call volume, address a constantly evolving set of requirements, optimize agent resources, and still deliver superior customer satisfaction with empathy,” said Genesys.

Senior Director for Cloud and Digital at TOT K. Santhiphap Phoemmongkhonsap said that customer experience remains one of the most significant measures of success for TOT as a government organization.

Phoemmongkhonsap also shared that with audiences increasingly utilizing digital channels, TOT has made it a priority to modernize contact center infrastructure and maintain high customer experience standards despite significant changes to customer requirements due to COVID-19.

“TOT and Genesys shares a common vision of improving lives with technology, and we look forward to continue serving businesses and consumers in line with Thailand’s digital transition vision with a like-minded partner,” said Phoemmongkhonsap.

Commenting on the partnership, Gwilym Funnell, senior vice president, and general manager at Genesys Asia-Pacific said, “Genesys is honored to assist TOT in serving the needs of local businesses and consumers, and more importantly, harness technology to make lives better amid the ongoing pandemic. We operate with a strong belief in the transformational potential of AI and Cloud technologies for modern economies. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to collaborate with one of Thailand’s telecommunications pioneers to accelerate digital transformation within one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing internet economies.”

Meanwhile, Head of Product for Conversational AI at Google Cloud Antony Passemard said “The successful application of Google Cloud’s CCAI solution by Genesys for TOT is a tremendous example of how applied AI can help organizations digitally transform quickly, and ultimately drive stronger, more efficient experiences for their customers while maintaining control of their costs.”

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

Top 10 Influencer Marketing trends to look out for

From the rise of the micro- and nano-influencers to the increasing role of artificial intelligence (AI) in ensuring brand safety and delivering data-driven insights, new influencer marketing trends continue to emerge this year.

While exploring the ins and outs of influencer marketing space, we have observed the top 10 trends that will be huge this 2020. These trends are anticipated to guide brands in strategizing for campaigns that are sure to generate ROI.

1. Expect more influencers across content, experiential, and social media marketing strategies.

Since audiences see influencers as more authentic and credible, 89% of marketers think ROI is comparable or better with influencer marketing.

Brands will turn to confluence marketing strategies to amplify campaigns and social commerce by boosting or repurposing influencer-made content for example.

Brands are also expected to expand influencer marketing budgets and we can expect more exclusive invite-only influencer events.

2. No longer will micro- and nano-influencers be underestimated.

With a more dedicated niche following, micro- and nano-influencers are more engaging than celebrity and top influencers. More brands will plan campaigns with a mix of nano-, micro- and macro-influencers.

Brands can reap the benefits of both worlds. While one targets a specific niche audience, the other has a wider reach and potential to spark large conversations.

3. Brands will seek deeper, long-term influencer partnerships.

No longer do brands think a single influencer post or story is an effective conversion strategy. More are opting for long-term influencer partnerships through custom product lines or ambassador programs.

This helps brands achieve business outcomes, build authentic audience loyalty, and identify the marketing strategies that work best for them.

4. Industry will be streamlined by tighter regulations and pressures on influencers to comply.

Past controversies and issues on fake followers have motivated brands and audiences to demand more influencer transparency. To ensure compliance, social channels are stepping up such as, Instagram putting up a ‘Paid Partnership With’ feature.

Following these new regulatory measures will enhance an influencer’s perceived authenticity and strengthen campaign performance.

5. More airtime for audio-based content.

Audio content, especially podcasts, has risen in popularity. Audio influencers hold listeners’ attention for extended periods, allowing native ad formats to be easily integrated.

In 2020, it is estimated that podcasts alone will account for $863 million in ad revenue. While the market for audio influencers is still blossoming in APAC, advertisers and brands should anticipate, appreciate, and plan for audio in future marketing strategies.

6. A growing fascination with CGI-Influencers.

Virtual computer-generated Instagram (CGI) influencers are shaking up the industry. Uniquely, CGI- influencers give brands full creative control over campaigns.

Appealing to techy Gen-Z audiences, CGI influencers like digital AI-avatar Lil Miquela are shown to have engagement rates almost 3x higher than real human influencers. Evidently, users are fascinated by this blend of fantasy and reality.

7. eSports influencers uniting fans and brands.

With ½ of fans being millennials, ages between 25-39, and more than 1/3 are women, eSports influencers have an especially wide and engaged following.

It is not surprising then that the number of influencer campaigns with eSports athletes has tripled in the past five years, with non-endemic brands increasingly getting in on the action.

With the eSports industry predicted to exceed 1.62 billion in revenue in 2021, advertisers and brands should consider eSports influencers in their marketing strategies if they want a piece of this winning streak.

8. Brands are recruiting employees and customers to build advocacy.

Audiences believe employees have a deep understanding of a brand’s culture. This makes their endorsements seem more reliable and authentic.

Brands like H&M, L’Oreal, Reebok, Starbucks, and MasterCard have launched advocacy programs motivating employees to become influencers. Social Media Today reports that these employee advocacy programs result in an average 26% increased revenue YOY.

For this same reason, customers are also being recruited as brand ambassadors. For advertisers and brands looking to amplify both retail and social commerce efforts, leveraging existing employees and consumers effectively capitalizes on the power of word-of-mouth to raise brand awareness.

9. AI is helping brands ensure brand safety.

Advances in AI are allowing marketers to derive more meaningful insights about campaign performance from vast data sets. Performance-based metrics like unique reach, actual impressions, and video views can now be verified and consolidated onto all-inclusive influencer marketing solutions that help streamline campaign workflow with image recognition and natural language processing (NLP).

Allowing social listening and the flagging of inappropriate content, brands can also shortlist the best influencers to fulfill campaign outcomes. Facilitated by automated booking tools, these developments let brands better optimize marketing strategies and ensure brand safety.

10. New highly shareable platforms and content are emerging.

Younger generations want engaging, authentic, and rapidly consumable content. With the adoption of technologies like drones, 360 video applications, AR and VR, influencers can enhance their storytelling abilities and produce higher-quality, innovative content. Rising social platforms such as TikTok and Twitch have also adopted these trends.

This article was written by Madeleine Mak of INCA APAC.

INCA is an influencer marketing solutions which helps brands to run brand-safe content campaigns through creators and influencers across digital platforms. It is owned by media company, Group M.

Categories
Technology East Asia

China-based iClick announces upgrade of ad campaign management tool

Hong Kong – China-based independent online marketing and enterprise data solutions provider iClick Interactive has launched an upgrade of its advertising campaign management tool, iActivate.

iActivate is a search engine marketing (SEM) campaign management platform that consolidates a number of ad platforms into one single platform, streamlining campaign monitoring and management. 

The platform is said to work in tandem with iClick’s Tracking Solution, providing marketers with customized reports and actionable insights into the effectiveness of their advertising spend. 

“iActivate provides straightforward and intelligent market insights that address the pain points faced by marketers of receiving insufficient and overly-general campaign data,” said Frankie Ho, president of international business at iClick. 

iActivate is an addition to iClick’s suite of products, which include iAudience, iAccess, iAX and Tracking Solution. 

Ho said that following the upgrade of iActivate and iAudience, the company’s audience analysis-focused platform, the company will continue to leverage iClick’s existing consumer profiles, as well as its advanced technology in machine learning and its AI to enhance and improve solutions.

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Technology South Asia

India’s MoMAGIC to offer public opinion monitoring in platform, ties up with QISDA Group

New Delhi, India – India-based data science-driven mobiletech MoMAGIC has entered a strategic partnership with Taiwan-based original design manufacturer (ODM) Qisda Group as it looks to unveil new feature for its AI SaaS platform, TrueInsight. 

Via the platform, MoMAGIC will be offering consumer digital footprint and online monitoring of public opinions for the retail industry. 

As a part of the partnership, TrueInsight will be able to provide advanced algorithms of ‘Intelligent POI (Point of Interest) Mapping & Intelligent Online Listening’, for the retail store chain.

This is said to enable critical capability to see through dynamic consumer footprint traffic and retail competition analysis, allowing businesses to process non-sensitive and anonymous consumer movement data.

Founder and CEO of MoMAGIC Technologies, Arun Gupta believes that the collaboration will help the company’s AI solutions to expand to other verticals.

“The strategic partnership with Qisda Group in Taiwan is a window to expand our AI Solution offerings into retail and other industry verticals,” Gupta said.

“With our advanced data science capability, we also hope to expand our AI solution application out of India. Looking forward to accelerating our offerings in AI business, to other Asian countries in 2021,” added Gupta.

Michael Lee, General Manager of Qisda’s Business Solutions Group agrees, and thinks that a viable expansion is on its way. 

“We are looking forward to the strategic partnership with MoMAGIC, for AI SaaS solution applied in the retail sector and other similar industry. The cooperation can be extended from Taiwan, even to India and other Asian countries in the future,” said Lee.