SME Featured ANZ

Financial services KVB Global Capital teams up with Xero to bolster cross-border settlements for SMEs

Sydney, Australia – Given the growing demand by SMEs for international payments, financial services company KVB Global Capital has partnered with Xero, the global small business platform, to offer multi-currency cross-border payments with competitive exchange rate advantages and a global payment network.

The partnership aims to simplify cross-border payment processes and improve financial workflows for SMEs by combining Xero’s capabilities and the advantages of GCFX, which is its global currency trading and settlement service provider,  further reducing the costs of engaging in global business.

Business users only need to connect their GCFX account with Xero to enjoy two major benefits, namely automatic bank feeds, which synchronize transactions conducted through GCFX to the user’s Xero account daily without the need for re-entry of data, simplifying the reconciliation process for the finance team; and the express FX payments of bills, where users can manage payment instructions by currencies, recipients or due dates, and enjoy a competitive exchange rate to cater for their different business and geographic needs by using the GCFX app.

Ning Sun, KVB Global Capital’s executive director, commented, “We are pleased to work with Xero in empowering SMEs engaged in global businesses, and reducing the time and money spent on cross-border settlement for them, along with enjoying an efficient and convenient funds transfer experience.”

KVB Global Capital said that the integration with Xero will be initially launched in Australia and then connected to other countries and regions later.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

airasia academy, Google MY to provide free digital courses for MY SMEs

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – airasia academy, the edutech arm of airasia Digital, and Google Malaysia have partnered in providing free digital courses for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia, as part of its BINA Digital program, which targets building a progressive business plan structured to supercharge their efforts online while looking into technical methods of productivity.

Said collaboration aims to empower the SME community in reskilling and upskilling themselves to digitize their business, stay relevant, be equipped with modern tech skill sets and continue to excel in their businesses.

Google’s involvement in the collaboration includes the utilization of the Google Primer, a mobile app that offers quick, easy-to-understand lessons to help business owners and individuals grow skills and reach their goals. The free courses are now available for SMEs or any individual who is interested to learn via the on-demand Learning platform at airasia digital’s website.

The first 50 airasia academy students who have completed the Primer series by 31 October 2021 will have the option to subscribe to courses on the on-demand Learning platform at only RM10 a month. They will also stand a chance to win a free seat to airasia academy instructor-led training courses and a lunch date with Aireen Omar, president of airasia digital when they have fully completed the Primer series.

Omar stated that they are delighted to embark on this journey together with Google Malaysia and look forward to reskilling and upskilling thousands of SMEs in Malaysia so they can be more resilient and continue to contribute positively to the economy.

She also added that the free courses will consist of nine minicourses for beginners, intermediate and advanced levels with topics such as ‘Grow your business and generate revenue’, ‘Take your business online’, ‘Get started with digital advertising’, among others.

“The SMEs are a key pillar of our economy. In these tough times, we’ve seen many local SMEs struggling to stay afloat and we want to continue playing our part by providing free access to those in need to ensure that they are equipped with tech skill sets to grow their businesses. Many businesses are sometimes unsure where to start and we believe these free courses can guide them into taking the first step to learn new tech skill sets.” Omar explained.

Meanwhile, Marc Woo, managing director at Google Malaysia, commented that by continuing to work with their long-standing partners like airasia academy, Google remains committed to ensuring that every business has the support and tools they need to recover and rebuild for the long run.

“Malaysians are spending more time online and as we embark on the path of economic recovery, digital technologies are pivotal to help SMEs adapt. This means that when these businesses go online, they can reach their customers faster, which in turn generates a higher uplift in our digital economy. It is even more crucial now than ever that we continue to help businesses of all sizes build digital skill sets,” Woo stated.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Martech Techsun launches in SEA, unveils new product for SMEs

Singapore – APAC Martech brand Techsun, which provides solutions for consumer marketing, consumer data, and marketing process automation has launched in Southeast Asia with a new headquarters in Singapore. In conjunction with the regional expansion, Techsun has also rolled out a new product built for SMEs.

The new product is an expansion of Techsun’s flagship product, Social Hub, a cloud-native customer understanding and engagement SaaS for omnichannel retailers and brands. It is an integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Customer Data Platform (CDP) solution and enables brands to have a 360 degree understanding of their customers by managing and analyzing relevant customer data across multiple online to offline (O2O) touchpoints such as transactions in-store and in-app, official and authorized reseller websites, social media channels as well as payment platforms. 

Deepening brand loyalty is also part of Social Hub’s value proposition via its omnichannel personalized customer messaging, automated precision marketing, and management of promotion initiatives and loyalty programs such as membership points and discount coupons. 

The expansion to Southeast Asia marks the martech’s first regional office outside of China and is considered as a stepping stone to the greater APAC region.

Ivan Zhou, Techsun’s general manager for APAC, commented that they see great potential for Techsun in the SEA region due to its growing regional economy and a strong business community. 

“With Social Hub, we aim to be the solution of choice for both the global brands and the large SME market in the region. We want to utilize the experience we gained working with numerous global brands in China and the APAC region and help businesses in Singapore as well as the rest of Southeast Asia,” Zhou said. 

Zhou added that its SaaS promises better value with less than 20% of what big companies are charging and is confident that it will go a long way in “uplifting the retail landscape in Asia.”

He also remarked on democratizing tech for SMEs, “SMEs may not be as prolific as MNCs but they are important engines of growth in Southeast Asia. Technology is a key competitive advantage for brands, especially in the new retail era, and we want to democratize access to the same cutting-edge solutions that big brands have been using for SMEs so that they can equalize the playing field.”

SMEs can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Social Hub on Techsun’s website.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Maybank launches SME-centric business banking app to aid in digital transformation

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Malaysia’s banking group Maybank has launched its newest business banking app ‘Maybank2u Biz’ which aids SMEs in their digital transformation journey, specifically in their business banking needs.

Said app was developed to cater to the needs of busy business owners, who are always on the go and managing multiple tasks. It is suitable for partnerships, private limited companies, professional firms, educational institutions, clubs, society and associations.

Some of the features include the ‘Maker-Checker’ authorization process for transactions have also been simplified for efficient on-the-go approving without compromising on transparency; and the ‘invoicing tool’ which allows business owners to create, issue, and track invoices, as well can be customized using ready-to-use templates, and sent out to their customers via various communication channels such as email and chat messaging applications on their mobile devices.

“Running a business is very complex and it is even more challenging during these extraordinary circumstances. Hence, we have designed Maybank2u Biz to be more than just a banking application, but a business companion that will help ease SMEs’ burden and empower them to drive their businesses forward. We have made it simple, because entrepreneurs should be spending more time making strategic decisions instead of managing daily operations,” said Datuk Abdul Farid Alias, group president and chief executive officer.

He also added that they believe in the power of information and have made key financial data easy to access and understand for the SMEs, further stating that client SMEs can get a full view of their accounts in Maybank on the dashboard of the application, which allows them to make quick assessments of the business’ financial health at a glance. 

“At the same time, they are also able to download a year’s worth of cash flow data in spreadsheet format (CSV) on-demand, without having to wait for the traditional month-end statements. With the information, business owners can now plan ahead, make better decisions, or even spot potential red flags in their cash flow early. As with all Maybank digital solutions, security is paramount to us. We have introduced Secure2u to Maybank2u Biz to safeguard their transactions and give them peace of mind,” Datuk Farid added.

The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and Apple AppStore today. 

Existing Maybank business customers can just download the application and log in with their Maybank2u Biz ID and password to start using it immediately and seamlessly, with the data from all their Maybank accounts automatically made available in the new application. 

For non-Maybank customers, they can open a Maybank business account online via Maybank2u, with only a single trip to the branch to activate the account. Once activated, they may start using the application, and have access to all the banking features and business tools within.

“The launch of Maybank2u Biz reaffirms Maybank’s commitment to support SMEs. With its intuitive interface, easy navigation, and useful business tools, we believe Maybank2u Biz will be well received by SMEs, as Maybank currently serves 58% of the SMEs in Malaysia. This is just the first phase of the application; we will continue to enhance it and bring in more features that will help SMEs power up their businesses,” he concluded.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

TikTok PH launches ‘Negosyo Mo Na Yan’ campaign for budding F&B entrepreneurs

Manila, Philippines – TikTok in the Philippines is moving to support would-be entrepreneurs through the launch of its new campaign, ‘’Negosyo Mo Na Yan’. Negosyo is a Tagalog term for business, and the campaign is aimed at helping Filipinos cope financially in these trying times by empowering them to launch their own businesses.

Through this campaign, TikTok hopes to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and basic knowledge they need to jumpstart their business ventures. During the pandemic, a lot of beginning and closeted entrepreneurs came out of their shells with online marketplaces seeing an unprecedented surge during the period. With this, content platforms and e-commerce platforms themselves have been launching online initiatives to teach budding business owners to navigate and foray into online selling.

‘Negosyo Mo Na Yan’ will focus solely on food-related businesses, largely because, according to the short video platform, most of the thriving local businesses born during the pandemic are centered around food.

The campaign will kick off with ‘Negosyo Week’ from 27 September to 3 October 2021. During this period, a series of masterclasses will be hosted by different TikTok partners via TikTok Live. Each session will last for 2 hours where viewers will gain insights and information relevant to a food entrepreneur’s journey. Partner speakers include GCash, Puregold, Abenson, Canva, and When In Manila Food as well as Globe.

This will be followed by a #NegosyoRecipe challenge from 4 October to 21 October 2021, where participants can win amazing prizes, including appliances and tools that can help them start their businesses. In order to join, users need to upload their best negosyo recipe videos on TikTok using the hashtag #NegosyoRecipe. TikTok will then select 10 creators from among all the participants who will move on to the next round.

Shortlisted creators will be given the exclusive chance to develop their negosyo ideas, and improve their business models through one-on-one mentoring sessions. The challenge will culminate with a business pitch, where the final 10 creators will present their ideas to a panel of judges composed of respected entrepreneurs and experts from the food industry such as RJ Ledesma of Mercato Group, celebrity chef Marvin Agustin, and Mark del Rosario of Let’s Eat Pare.

After the pitch, the three creators with the most promising business ideas will be awarded as winners. Along with the business-building tools, one grand winner will also be entitled to a six-month mentorship with Marvin Agustin, which includes a spot in his cloud kitchen, The Secret Kitchen.

As the leading short video platform, TikTok has been ramping up its content strategy in order to include conversations relevant to society. Its Singaporean counterpart has recently launched a livestream series dedicated to anchoring the discussion on mental health awareness.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee PH holds second Shopee University Summit for SMEs

Manila, Philippines – Shopee Philippines will be holding its Shopee University Summit for the second time. The summit, which had its inaugural run last May this year, aims to further support sellers as e-commerce takes on a significant role in the global retail landscape. Interested viewers can catch the webinar on 18 September 2021 at 9 am via Shopee Live or Shopee’s official Facebook page. 

With the virtual resource, Shopee aims to equip business owners with the right tools and sufficient knowledge to embrace e-commerce and use it to scale their business. The Shopee University Summit will discuss relevant skills for SMEs such as developing the right business branding, product photography skills, and leveraging Shopee tools and social media platforms to promote their businesses.

The speaker line-up includes Rhea Matute, executive director at Design Center of the Philippines, Mia Mendoza, seller education lead at Shopee Philippines, Agatha Chua, head of community at Shopee Philippines, and Robenson T. Ong Lo, vice president at CameraHaus as well as Carmella Peña, brand manager of PULUZ Philippines, and Jillian Co, branch operator of Human Nature Manila Branch.

Martin Yu, director of Shopee Philippines, said, “Shopee is committed to helping micro, small, and medium enterprises seamlessly transition and maximize the potential of e-commerce. We are excited to launch the second Shopee University Summit to equip entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge and marketing tools they need to succeed as online retail evolves.” 

He adds, “These entrepreneurs invested time and effort, and we want to ensure they have the right resources and support to build a sustainable business. Shopee will continue to come up with innovative initiatives to further strengthen our support for our partner brands and local sellers.” 

For 2020, Shopee continues to be the top e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, where it came out as the most visited with average web traffic of 281,385,626 for the year. 

SME Featured Southeast Asia

BizSports Asia’s tourney debut spotlights new era entrep strategies

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – With an objective to showcase the rich diversity of entrepreneurial strategies of participating local businesses and talents, the recent conclusion of the debut of ‘I Got Talent’ Asia’s, the first BizSports Tournament by online show BizSports, saw a participation of 400 people, and learned new era talent strategies with remarkable entrepreneurs, enhancing their understanding of how essential it is to search for game-changing talents in order to be leaders of the industry.

Said tournament was made possible by partnerships with Malaysia-based agency DreamsKingdoms, collaborative software Vimigo, and financial education platform Finspark.

BizSports Asia aims that through this tournament, it provides a platform for top talents to unleash their potential in the real business world and solve real business problems. It’s also a place where entrepreneurs can discover talents with future-ready skills who can help them achieve new breakthroughs.

“A new era has begun and that calls for a new revolution, especially for the business industry. Game-changing talents have become the masterminds behind every successful business. However, it has been challenging for businesses to find the right talents. Could there be a shortage of talents? We believe not. Many talents could very well be a diamond in the rough, who just needs a little polishing to shine bright,” BizSports Asia said in a press statement.

Several top entrepreneurs were also invited to share their insights namely Shane Mun, founder and CEO of Vimigo & Big Bath; Spark Liang, founder of Finspark; Yens Chong, founder of DreamsKingdoms; Cody Hong, Malaysia’s top We-media creator; and Jeff Chin, founder and CEO of SocialMex.

The tournament includes various activities and programs done in the form of a survival reality show, where top talents are selected through observation by the panel of invited entrepreneurs. About 250 out of 1,000 participants from the pre-selection stage would then have the opportunity to submit their resumes. 

Then, 50 selected participants will be divided into 10 teams, each led by a corporate mentor. Talents and mentors will work together to advance through the stages of ‘I Got Talent’, in hopes of becoming Asia’s 1st BizSports Tournament’s top 3 teams. 

The champion team and MVPs that will come out of the tournament will be walking away with cash and prizes worth up to RM100,000. It will be recorded and edited into a 40-60 minutes show and shared across social media platforms.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Lalamove’s new regional campaign plays upbeat tone to encourage to ‘Lalamove it’

Hong Kong – Lalamove, one of the leading on-demand delivery platforms in Southeast Asia, has recently launched a new regional campaign with the slogan ‘Lalamove it!’, that aims to inspire their partners in Southeast Asia and Latin America to get their businesses moving with the help of Lalamove. 

At the heart of the campaign is an ad featuring a playful and vibrant aesthetic, integrated with it a catchy tune using ‘Lalamove’ as part of the lyrics to make the message stick among viewers.

It helps that the platform’s inherent branding centers around optimism, with its bright orange brand color and within its name a workable catchphrase having the word ‘move’.

The ad promotes the company’s on-demand service offerings to a multicultural audience with the message that customers can deliver anything, no matter how big or small, with Lalamove’s wide range of fleets, reliable and affordable services.

Alex Kwan, the marketing director of Lalamove, commented that technology has only accelerated over the last 18 months in the wake of COVID-19, and that the new normal has greatly impacted the local supply chain and movement of goods. With this, Lalamove constantly strives to meet the many different needs of its customers which are both SMEs and individuals alike. 

“We are extremely excited about the ‘Lalamove it!’ campaign, which will help us reach out to new audiences in the southeast markets and boost awareness of Lalamove in the social space. We can’t wait to tell the world that you don’t just move it – you ‘Lalamove it!’,” said Kwan. 

Within the campaign is a TikTok dance challenge that launched in four specific markets today. Celebrities and KOLs all over Southeast Asia have been partnered up to take the lead in the challenge.

For instance, Luis Manzano, Filipino actor and TV host, and Malaysian influencer Wingkeh and her partner Keifth, have been roped in to show off their ‘Lala-moves’ to amplify the ‘Lalamove vibe’ on social. 

Followers can then showcase their spirit and creativity by entering the TikTok challenge, performing their best #LalamoveIt dance with specially designed Lalamove stickers to win attractive prizes. 

The platform shared that the campaign is a joint effort of creative input from creative agency BBDO and produced by production studio Heckler. The TikTok campaign meanwhile was created by global media agency m/SIX.

The campaign’s ad will be shown on traditional and digital media in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, as well as in Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico, and Brazil. The brand campaign at large will be running across TV, digital, OOH, and social advertising, 

SME Featured Southeast Asia

This simplified video maker is marketed to SMEs for added digital presence

Singapore – With more and more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) now migrating towards creating a digital presence, presentable yet simplified video editors are an essential for them to create visual-appealing multimedia for their growing number of online users. Hence, marketing technology software-as-a-service (SaaS) video tool Oneshot has released their latest simplified video editor catered to SMEs looking for easy-to-use video editing tools.

Said video editor tool creates personalized videos using a simple point-and-click interface, without the heavy lifting of tedious video editing. This is further supported by various pre-built and professionally-designed templates to cater to the uses of numerous businesses and industries. 

Oneshot offers three affordable packages to choose from: Lite(S$39) for three videos, Pro(S$159) for 20 videos, and Ultimate(S$120) for 20 videos per month. The video maker does not offer stock images or footage in an effort to encourage brands to use their own assets in creating authentic videos for their various personal or business uses.

With an objective to empower SMEs and small businesses during this time of digitalization, Oneshot offers its service at an affordable price point, to allow anyone to access and create videos for their marketing and advertising needs.

“We realize that many businesses, especially SMEs, are inconsistent in asserting their presence online. Many are still tightening purse strings or fighting to remain afloat, and hiring a creative agency is an expensive luxury. However, cutting down on the marketing budget affects a business’ brand presence and reduces the opportunity to boost online traffic and sales,” said Cindy Chay, co-founder of Oneshot.

She further added that the service aims to bridge the gap of presentable media and affordable video editing strategies, which in turn provides SMEs and other smaller companies access to perfectly optimized videos at an affordable price. She adds that it enables its users, whether complete beginners or individuals with limited video editing knowledge, to create pro-grade videos at their fingertips.

Meanwhile, Christantio Giovanni, co-founder at Oneshot, shared that we are currently met with many different types of videos and advertisements from a wide range of industries, such as F&B, retail, fashion and even education, and that thhis exciting selection of variety has inspired Oneshot to develop hundreds of pre-built and professionally designed templates, as we encourage designers and animators to take full control and add their personal touches. 

“Every aspect of the video template selection is born out of unrestrained creativity, whether it be for creating testimonials, instructional videos or even sales and promotional ads. We take pride in constantly updating the platform and are passionate in developing new video templates that bring forward the persona of SMEs and businesses in every industry,” Giovanni said.

The video templates offered by Oneshot comes in an abundance of choices, all catered for businesses to meet their marketing goals, whether it be to gather attention from the audience, influence higher conversion rates or actively sell products. Furthermore, for video-making beginners or individuals with limited video editing knowledge the tool promises to take care of the heavy lifting such as the design and animation portions in order to save time.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

This campaign lets brick-and-mortar SMEs in SG offer digital vouchers–all marketing costs covered

Singapore – SKALE, an all-in-one marketing tool, is launching a one-of-its-kind campaign for SMEs in Singapore that aims to help businesses bounce back from the impact of the pandemic. 

In a nutshell, the campaign will be allowing up to 2,000 brick-and-mortar SMEs to offer deals and promotions to shoppers nationwide via hyper-local digital vouchers, where all marketing costs will be covered. 

Called, ‘ Voucher Fest 2021’, the campaign aims to increase physical stores’ customer footfall and drive higher sales. As part of the initiative, SKALE will be funding all marketing investments and will be providing full marketing support utilizing SKALE’s very own Digital Voucher solution as well as its solutions for geo-fencing ads and gamification to bring customers back to stores.

The campaign is done in collaboration with The FinLab, the innovation accelerator powered by UOB and SGInnovate. The campaign will be running for three months long, from the period of 17 September 2021 to 20 December 2021.

According to SKALE’s website, the voucher fest is open to all physical stores that are restaurants, fashion stores, spas, or those in entertainment, among others. The campaign is open to brick & mortar businesses that are in need of free marketing support, and SMEs that would like to digitize for free. 

SKALE’s CEO Yuet Whey Siah said that the period of the pandemic has been highly crucial for many SME retailers, especially offline retailers. 

“In the past 15 months, SKALE has worked with many offline retailers to help them recapture lost sales and to rebound from the impact of the 2020 Circuit Breaker. However, the latest tightening of measures presents them with a new reality – that there is an increased importance to digitize and leverage technology to sustain business growth,” said Yuet Whey Siah.

For interested small- to medium-sized physical businesses, SKALE is already live in offering an event brief that would explain the specifics of the campaign and what the program has in store for businesses. By registering on its website, SME owners can pick their convenient schedule for the briefing.

SKALE revealed some of the brands that are already participating which include Four Seasons Durian, Edith Patisserie, Big Fish Small Fish, and also Trehaus.