Category Archives: FinTech

Huawei and Bank of China Jointly Win A Banking Award

The “Finance China 2022” event organized by the prestigious international finance magazine The Asian Banker successfully commenced in Beijing on the 25th of August. Huawei and the Bank of China jointly won the Best Bank Infrastructure Technology Implementation in China in the category of Financial Technology Awards.

Huawei has shaped many innovative technological solutions by using its innovative ICT technologies and capacities and orchestrated cross-domain collaboration among technologies, helping financial institutions enhance their operational resilience and provide optimal user experience.

  • NoF+ is an Ethernet-enabled lossless storage network solution that applies NVMe, a high-speed read/write protocol dedicated to flash memory and IP networks. Customers can use this technology to build intelligent and lossless networks that sense network faults and facilitate cross-domain coordination. This solution will significantly increase the IOPS throughput performance compared to Fibre Channel (FC) networks.
  • Replacing FC with NoF+ significantly reduces data read and write latency within data centers. In addition, data can be transmitted without loss across data centers and over long distances thanks to the iLossless algorithm.
  • This solution can help networks proactively sense link status and fast switch storage algorithms in order to reduce the impact of network jitter on financial transactions, and reduce link switching time from minutes to seconds in case of failed transmissions.

Dr. Margaret Hu, President of Marketing and Solution Sales, Huawei Global Digital Finance said, “We thank The Asian Banker for honoring us this significant award. Huawei will continue working with financial institutions and partners to conduct joint innovation and open collaboration. We will build innovative digital infrastructure that helps financial services grow and innovate. Our joint efforts will accelerate the financial industry’s digital transformation.”

To date, Huawei has served more than 2,000 financial customers in more than 60 countries and regions around the world, including 49 of the world’s Top 100 banks. Learn more about Huawei’s digital finance solutions:

Internet-Connected Philippine Financial Services

The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), the Department of Science and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) have begun testing satellite internet service in two rural banks in Batangas province.

“PhilSA and DOST-ASTI will process data to look at the network performance against the actual connectivity needs of the banks. Information from these reports will be utilised by BSP as we move this partnership forward,” says Ma. Victoria Gazmin-Basto, Officer-in-Charge, PhilSA Space Business Development Division.

The stated banks were previously recognised by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) as being in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs), where the installation of new terrestrial networks to improve connectivity may be impractical.

The provision of technical assistance to BSP is consistent with PhilSA’s mandate of assisting other government agencies or departments, as well as the private sector, in carrying out their responsibilities using space science and technology applications and satellite data.

To collect data, a Weather and Performance Monitoring System (WPMS) equipment built by DOST-ASTI was placed up near the two banks. The WPMS includes a network performance monitoring device that is linked to the satellite internet user equipment installed at the banks.

Among other things, the device measures network metrics such as upload and download speeds, throughput, latency, and jitter. Furthermore, the WPMS includes weather stations that monitor meteorological parameters such as rain, temperature, humidity, and pressure at the same time. The obtained data will subsequently be analysed to investigate and evaluate the satellite internet service’s performance and reliability under local weather conditions.

According to Bryan Paler, Senior Science Research Specialist at DOST-ASTI, his agency encourages collaboration with PhilSA and BSP to demonstrate ASTI’s locally developed technologies in applications that benefit the Filipino people.

Aside from the WPMS, they are investigating how they may put other homegrown technologies to use, such as bridging the digital divide and promoting financial inclusion. DOST-ASTI intends to capitalise on the partnership’s benefits in the future by educating people about financial literacy.

The organisations intend to use the digital TV technology and internet infrastructure that they are constructing to teach people in the unserved and underserved areas about financial literacy in addition to doing research on the usefulness and efficiency of satellite internet services for banks. The Philippine government aims to provide rural areas with cutting-edge technology while also teaching residents how to use it for their own benefit. Out of the country’s 1,634 municipalities, 33% or 533, are still unbanked and do not have access to financial inclusion services.

The Philippines believes in satellite technology’s ability to improve connectivity in rural areas, hence increasing banks’ capacity to deliver digital financial services and encourage greater financial inclusion in unserved and underserved areas. Digital financial services such as remittances, bill payments, and opening transaction accounts, among others, would become more inclusive and accessible with improved connections in rural areas.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between PhilSA, DOST-ASTI, and BSP to encourage access to high-quality financial services enabled by internet connectivity. As transactions and services move to online platforms, this endeavour will increase digital inclusion.

Internet connectivity is recognised as a crucial enabler of financial and economic inclusion, as financial activities and services migrate to online platforms. As internet connection is increased, banks and other financial service providers will be able to better serve rural areas with additional internet-connected access points, such as automated teller machines and cash agent services.

Vietnam Targets Transparent Digital Financial Ecosystem by 2030

The Ministry of Finance has announced it would develop a foundation for a modern and transparent digital financial ecosystem based on big data and open data by 2025. The initiative will be carried out under the Ministry’s digital transformation plan aimed for 2025, with orientations to 2030. It was newly signed by Finance Minister Ho Duc Phoc.

By 2030, the Ministry strives to establish a developed digital financial ecosystem with enhanced cybersecurity and efficiency. The overall objective of the plan is to accelerate digital transformation in tandem with building a sustainable, advanced, and globally-integrated national financial system. The move is expected to boost growth, enhance the resilience of the economy, and maintain macro-economic stability and financial security.

The Ministry will apply fourth industrial revolution technologies and leverage the progress that’s been made with the development of the e-government to transform the finance sector. It will offer more digital financial services to bolster the digital economy and digital society. The finance sector will play a vital role in creating, connecting, and sharing data, digitising platforms, and optimising the digital information of the government, people, and organisations.

The Ministry will cut down the number of public administrative procedures, and reform, simplify, and standardise public financial services to reduce costs and improve service quality and productivity by 2025. Accordingly, the delivery of most public administrative services will be shifted online, providing citizens with a paperless and convenient experience. The Ministry also intends to step up the implementation of the National Single Window system and the ASEAN Single Window system to facilitate trade.

Further, the Ministry has plans to set up a modern, public, and transparent digital financial platform by 2025, based on big data and open financial data. By 2030, the Ministry claimed a digital financial ecosystem will be formed in all fields, ensuring administrative effectiveness and the safety of information. Civil servants and public employees will be trained in digital skills to facilitate the process.

The rate of financial technology adoption in the country is gradually and significantly increasing. The number of subscribers of the government’s Mobile Money initiative has quadrupled since the service was launched in January this year. 67% of these subscribers reside in rural, mountainous, border, island, and remote areas.

As OpenGov Asia reported, subscribers with at least one Mobile Money transaction by the end of June exceeded 1.72 million, accounting for 97.3% of the total. Additionally, the number of households with fibre optic connections in the first half of this year increased by 9% compared to the same period of 2021 and by 17% against that of 2020. According to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), the goal of having 75% of households using fibre optic services this year is achievable. Vietnam also aims to have more than 50% of the population own digital payment accounts.

In deploying Mobile Money, the government has taken advantage of existing infrastructure and data and telecommunications networks. This has reduced social costs and expanded cashless payment channels on mobile devices. Industry experts have stated that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to universalise digital payments. Regardless of an Internet connection or bank account, and with just phone numbers, users can easily make cashless transactions through their Mobile Money account. The pandemic also greatly boosted the e-commerce market, with non-cash payments accounting for 70% of total retail transactions in Vietnam last year.

Boost — closing the credit gap for small businesses

GEORGE TOWN, July 12 — What started off as an eWallet company providing alternative methods for making digital payments back in 2017, Boost has now evolved into a regional full-spectrum fintech player that caters to the unserved and underserved segments, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Boost’s group chief executive officer (CEO) Sheyantha Abeykoon said: “Since starting our journey five years ago as an eWallet pioneering QR code payments and encouraging Malaysians to embrace going cashless, we have expanded our core business spanning micro-financing, micro-insurance, cross-border content services and merchant solutions that ease the process of business digitalisation. We grew these businesses separately over the last four years and we unified them under one umbrella about one and a half years ago.

“Today, Boost is a full spectrum fintech player in Southeast Asia with five different entities namely Boost Life, Boost Biz, Boost Credit, Boost Connect and Boost Indonesia, making us one of the few fintech companies to offer solutions for consumer payment, merchant services, lending for small businesses and we also have remittance services for enterprises,” he said in an interview with Bernama.

With Bank Negara Malaysia naming the Boost and RHB Banking Group consortium as one of the five recipients of the digital bank licences, Sheyantha said this would certainly bring the company closer to its bigger ambition in the banking segment.

Serving the underserved

Sheyantha said Boost has established deep relationships with MSMEs on the basis of trust, where Boost was able to provide them with alternative financing through their transaction data with Boost. This data-driven approach is used to pre-score these businesses’ finances and grant them a loan facility without requiring any bank statement.

“We were able to help many merchants, especially those who do not qualify for financing from banks. We have disbursed almost RM1 billion worth of loans in the past four years and a major chunk of that was done in the last 24 months.

“More than 40 per cent of these merchants are new to credit, which means that they have never taken a loan before we made them an offer. A lot of people are talking about financial inclusion, but these MSMEs are always left out,” he said.

He is confident that Boost can help these merchants to stay afloat especially during the pandemic because the company’s non-performing loan remained low at two to three per cent currently.

On the loan size per merchant, he said the average ticket size is about RM20,000 but Boost is able to go as small as needed.

“We have given loans as low as RM1,000 before. We are able to do that because we are a digital platform,” he said.

Helping MSMEs make that digital leap

Boost Biz CEO Eric Chong said the Covid-19 pandemic has greatly affected how businesses operate and most importantly, it has sped up the world’s digital transformation.

“During the pandemic, we launched a feature called Boost Payment Link, which allows merchants to collect a specific payment amount from the customer via sharing a link that can be sent through SMS or Whatsapp.

“We have also worked with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) to help merchants transition from offline to online. In 2020-2021, we onboarded about 45,000 merchants comprising MSMEs and over 5,000 of that figure are merchants from Penang.

“We also signed a memorandum of understanding with Majlis Bandaraya Seberang Perai (MBSP) in September 2021 so that merchants do not have to queue to pay their stall rentals, parking compounds and even conveniently make payments to MBSP for tax assessment through our platform,” he said.

He said Boost Biz is making good progress with close to 500,000 merchant touchpoints nationwide, where more than 35,000 of those merchant touchpoints are in Penang.

Chong said the company is also working with big partners like 62-year-old Penang retailer Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd, where on top of offering payment solutions for shoppers at their stores, it is also streamlining Sunshine’s staff allowances.

Businesses accept Boost as their trusted digital partner

Sunshine CEO Cynthia Hwang said its partnership with Boost has enabled the company to pay their staff monthly cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of RM250 to spend at all Sunshine outlets through the Boost app. Previously, this was done manually through physical vouchers that required extra paperwork for the human resource (HR) department.

“This results in a seamless experience for our HR department,” she added.

Meanwhile, the famous and oldest nasi kandar restaurant in the country Hameediyah has also embraced digitalisation and sees its benefits by accepting Boost.

Its operations director Muhammad Riyaaz Syed Ibrahim said he did extensive research on the digitalisation trend once it became a phenomenon as well as how to ensure the 115-year-old eatery continues to grow.

“I approached the top management on this, saying that we cannot continue with the old ways of cash payments. That is when the decision to partner with Boost came about.

“Boost has helped our business a lot, especially since a lot of our customers prefer to go cashless now,” he added.

Sharia Economic Community Lauds Huawei’s Initiative in Optimizing Digital Technology to Bolster Halal Industry and Sharia Economy

Indonesia, Jakarta (ANTARA) – Chairman of the Sharia Economic Community (MES) Erick Thohir commended Huawei’s efforts in encouraging the strengthening of Indonesia’s sharia economic ecosystem through optimizing digital technology. Erick appreciated Huawei’s CSR program in the form of donating sacrificial animals to Muslim communities in 13 cities in Indonesia which was symbolically held at the At-Thohir Mosque in Cimanggis, West Java, Thursday (7/7/2022). As a country with the largest Muslim population in the world, Erick assessed that Indonesia should be able to become a global player in the halal industry.

“Indonesia has so far been one of the countries with the world’s largest consumption of the halal industry, but in the top 10 world halal industry producers there are none.” said Erick.

Erick, who is also carrying out the mandate as Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, continues to encourage the potential of the halal industry by establishing Bank Syariah Indonesia (BSI) which has total assets of Rp360 trillion (US$24 billion) and is immediately to become the seventh-largest bank in Indonesia.

“The goal is clear [to make] Indonesia is a producing country for the halal industry, not simply being a market for other countries. As a big nation, we must not only become ripples but must become the waves in the world economy,” continued Erick.

As a big nation, said Erick, Indonesia should be able to optimize natural resources and a large market for economic growth and the welfare of its own people. Erick said that Indonesia is blessed with all the advantages needed to build a sharia economic ecosystem that is inclusive, effective, and has resilience in mitigating various crises.

“The Islamic economic ecosystem has proven to be resilient in the face of various crises, including pandemics, and we want to build an increasingly robust ecosystem with multi-helix cooperation between the government, community, and industry,” continued Erick.

Erick said that Indonesia must also be able to optimize the potential of the digital economy which is predicted to reach Rp4,500 trillion in 2030 or eight times larger than Indonesia’s GDP or become the largest in Southeast Asia. Erick also encouraged the Islamic economic ecosystem to not be left behind in venturing into digital economic opportunities in the future.

“The spirit reflected in Huawei’s initiative today is expected to inspire all parties to participate, build synergies, and support the Islamic economic community in the country so that they can contribute more to the global economy,” Erick said.

Minister of Religious Affairs H. Yaqut Cholil Qoumas remarked, “I appreciate Huawei for this initiative to build the world anew with the spirit of sharing and caring. This program is also contextual and future-oriented as our world is now facing a plethora of challenges in ICT developments that require the acceleration in digital transformation, including that in the digital sharia economy. 

The transformation in the digital sharia economy will enhance the capacity and optimize the development of the sharia economy in Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population. Caring and digital transformation will play a chief role to ramp up Indonesia’s contribution to a global stage.”

Jacky Chen, CEO of Huawei Indonesia said, “Huawei always believes technology can empower society. Technology can push innovators to keep creating new solutions. Indonesia’s sharia economic community should be able to take full advantage of technology in order to become the backbone of economic recovery. Guided by the Huawei “I Do” commitments, we would like to contribute more to Indonesia and create value to build up a more competitive Indonesian ecosystem.

The critical role of digital startups in strengthening the digital economy, in general, has motivated Huawei to build a new mission to help advance local startups through the Huawei Spark accelerator program. Huawei launched this program simultaneously in the Asia Pacific last year. In Indonesia itself, Huawei Spark has found a number of sharia-oriented startups that present innovative solutions in the realm of micro-lending that comply with sharia principles, halal market workshops, and others.

Jacky asserted,”In line with Huawei’s ‘I Do’ commitment which aims to create added value to contribute more to Indonesia’s progress, Huawei continues to strive to strengthen network infrastructure, prepare digital talent, and empower digital startups engaged in the Islamic economy. Thanks to the collaborative spirit of ecosystem partners, be it government, community, and industry, we are confident that Indonesia is on the right track to achieve its vision of becoming one of the world’s leading digital economic powers by 2045.”

The donation ceremony was also attended by representatives from Muslim communities, academia, and industry associations, including the Indonesian Association of Internet Providers, the Indonesian Association of Information and Communication Technology Business (Aptiknas), and the Indonesian Telematics Society (Mastel), and The Telecommunication Network Providers Association (APJATEL).

Dr. H. Amirsyah Tambunan, M.A., Secretary-General of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), said, “The acceleration of the halal industry and the development of halal tourism are the main pillars of national economic growth in the post-pandemic scenario. MUI plays a key role to push the competitiveness of Indonesia’s halal ecosystem to support Indonesia to become the center of the world’s halal economy by 2024. In collaboration with technology ecosystem partners, especially Huawei, we can establish halal infrastructure in accordance with sharia principles, push the regulations that side with the halal industry and tourism, and nurture culinary businesses that promote small and medium-scale enterprises.

Speaking on the donation given by Huawei, K.H. Zulfa Mustofa, Deputy Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, said, “Our religion teaches us to give back to others whatever we received. We can say that what Huawei has done today is in sync with the teaching.” 

Meanwhile, Dr Ma’mun Murod Al-Barbasy, MSi from PP Muhammadiyah, said,”This Qurban exhibits the real face of our religious practices, which brings about social value and humanity. Therefore, this Qurban activity organized by Huawei Indonesia reflects well both values.”

On the sidelines of the donation ceremony, Huawei also organized a discussion, titled Digital Transformation in Sharia Economy, featuring Muhammad Neil El Himam, M.Sc., Deputy for Digital Economy and Creative Products with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, Ir. Eddy Satriya, M.A., Deputy for Micro Enterprises, Ministry of Cooperatives and Small Medium Enterprises, Muhammad Hamudi Bin Abdul Khalid, CEO/Co-founder Orpheus Capital, and Muhammad Dennisa, Program Director of Huawei Spark Malaysia as the panelists, and Heru Sutadi, Executive Director of Indonesia ICT Institute as the moderator. 

During the panel discussion, Muhammad Neil El Himam, M.Sc., Deputy for Digital Economy and Creative Products with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, emphasized that the government prioritized Penta helix synergy in developing an ecosystem for the digital economy and sharia economy. “We hope technology support from global ICT players, especially Huawei, would enable tourism and creative economy players in their digital transformation to a better use of digital tools and platform.”

Indonesian digital economy is forecast to grow by eight times by 2030 and contributes 18 percent to gross domestic product (GDP). 

To bolster digital economy growth, the digital transformation involving local SMEs and cooperatives is crucial as Ir. Eddy Satriya, M.A., Deputy for Micro Enterprises, Ministry of Cooperatives and Small Medium Enterprises, said,”Indonesia aims to expedite the onboarding digitalization of SMEs and cooperatives from currently 17.6 million SMEs and 202 cooperatives by January 2022, to 30 million SMEs and 500 cooperatives by 2024. We expect Huawei as a leading global ICT player would continue to support the ecosystem along with other ecosystem partners to achieve the target. 

Meanwhile, Muhammad Dennisa, Program Director of Huawei Spark Malaysia, said that the Spark program forges close collaboration between the government and the community that supports the growth of the local economy through tech start-up development. “The development aims to provide a sustainable and conducive environment for tech start-ups, increase the employment rate and talent development, to scale up global competitiveness of the local start-ups, to facilitate investment access and corporate match up to global markets.”

The program covers initiatives to allow start-ups to sell their solutions to Huawei to take advantage of $123 billion business opportunities, enable them to sell with Huawei’s global sales force to access 197 of Huawei’s Fortune 500 company partners while enabling them to sell through Huawei App Store and Cloud marketplace which has over 600 million users.