December 9, 2021 2:26 p.m.
To provide a fast, easy and safe way to meet the financial needs of their customers, Home Credit boosts its QR Code payment service by joining Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) with QR Ph, the national QR Code standard launched recently to move the country to a more “cash-lite” environment.
In partnership with Asia United Bank Corp. (AUB), Home Credit – the first non-bank institution in the country to issue a credit card to its customers – is also a pioneer in the QR code payment service being the first to allow their credit cardholders to make cardless payments through the use of quick response or QR codes. With the availability of QR Ph person-to-merchant (P2M) payments, its cardholders will have access to an additional 30k+ participating merchants nationwide including retails stores, groceries, gas stations, pharmacies and more.
Through the My Home Credit App, cardholders will only need to scan the displayed QR Ph codes to pay for their purchases paving the way for a cashless and convenient payment option for transactions. As their newly-launched buy now, pay later product Qwarta also becomes available, their customers will be provided with a spending limit of up to 10,000 within the app for their shopping needs.
Aside from the convenience it brings, QR codes are also considered a safe and secure payment method. Offering multiple layers of security, customers are in control of the process by scanning the code without the need to provide personal information such as PIN. In the My Home Credit App alone, all transactions made will be automatically charged to the Home Credit Card or Qwarta which can also be checked and tracked through the mobile app.
“Our digital efforts go all the way back before the pandemic and we continue to do that by offering innovative digital payment products and services to our almost 8 million customers. You can always count on us to fully support any initiative of BSP to further the adoption of digital payment methods and ultimately, foster financial inclusion in the country,” said Home Credit PH Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Minol.
A vital part of BSP’s advocacy to promote financial technology and digitalization is to shift all transactions to digital by 50 percent before 2023. In the same time period, the central bank is also aiming for at least 70 percent of Filipino adults to have digital payment accounts.
In the recent months, the use of QR Codes has been gaining popularity amongst consumers and businesses alike due to social distancing measures caused by the pandemic. It has quickly replaced the heavy use of cash in various transactions and served as a viable alternative to traditional debit and credit card payments. Home Credit, with its partner AUB, was one of the first to respond to this increasing demand with partner brands and merchants already offering QR Code payment services to its customers.
“Our long-standing partnership with Home Credit starting in 2018 also makes them a pioneer in the usage of QR code payments,” said Executive Vice President and Head of Operations and IT Group, Mr. Wilfredo Rodriguez Jr. “Having them as our partner will help widen our reach as well as improve the user experience of their growing customer base with the accessibility of seamless payment services for various sectors such as retail, food and beverages, electronics, supermarkets, services, entertainment, and attractions.”
Founded by the mission to provide services to the unbanked and underserved segment, Home Credit’s participation in the implementation of QR Ph is only expected. With the launch and availability of QR Ph, more stores and merchants will be available to Home Credit consumers so they can continue using digital payments for their day-to-day transactions with their My Home Credit App and enjoy its benefits with greater ease.
The inclusivity that QR Ph brings due to its low cost and convenience will enable more consumers and businesses to participate in the digital payment ecosystem – starting with micro & small enterprises and vendors such as sari-sari stores and tricycle drivers that will eventually help them improve and grow their businesses. In turn, this will empower more consumers, particularly the unbanked market, to start using and patronizing QR Code payment services.
More than 9 million users of the My Home Credit App can simply scan the QR Ph codes displayed in over 30,000 establishments using their mobile device for essential goods and services, making it a faster, easier and safer payment option.
Infinit Care powers mental health in workplace with technology
June 28, 2022 8:12 p.m.
Members of the media were gathered last June 24, to talk about workplace mental health and how Infinit Care is pioneering a tech-based solution that allows companies to support the mental wellbeing of employees.
Workplace Mental Health
Mental health issues are on the rise, especially among the working population and it’s severely affecting overall health and productivity.
The World Health Organization found that mental illness is prevalent in the Philippines. In fact, it is the third most common disability in the country. The National Center for Mental Health also recorded a 500% increase in monthly hotline calls due to depression during the pandemic.
Companies have tried to answer this plight by providing mental health support whether in-house or through a 3rd party provider.
However, a lot of the options in the market focus on delivering solutions that cater to those who are already in crisis and leave out a significant part of the population.
Studies also show that despite increases in stress and burnout, utilization for mental health benefits remain low due to the lack of access to proper mental health solutions and the persistent stigma around talking about mental health struggles.
A Pioneer in Mental Health Tech
Infinit Care partners with businesses and organizations to provide their employees and community with comprehensive mental health support.
“Our platform of care solutions are founded on The Mental Health Continuum which takes into account a wide range of mental health states so that every employee can receive customized support, no matter what they’re going through, wherever and however they need it,” explained Infinit Care Marketing Head, Paola Silva.
“Everyone needs different kinds of care at different times. We work with companies who care deeply about the mental wellbeing of their employees and understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. We help companies bring the best out of their people by providing personalized mental health support.” said Infinit Care’s Head of Clinical Care, Shyne Mangulabnan.
Infinit Care is the only provider in the Philippines that can provide multi-channel mental health support.
Available via web and mobile app (iOS and Android), Infinit Care can meet the varying needs of all employees.
Our suite of solutions include 24/7 chat support with real live Care Chat Coaches who commit to an average response time of 5 minutes, a team of qualified licensed counselors and coaches available for virtual counseling or coaching at your convenience, a library of mental health tools and content to meet the varying needs of your workforce, and mental health training and capacity building workshops for the leaders and entire organization.
For more information on Infinit Care, visit https://www.infinitcare.co
3 ways to build a sustainable, digital Asia-Pacific
June 21, 2022 9:38 p.m.
By Baifeng Lin
Many countries in the Asia-pacific have released digitalization strategies. Cloud Computing technologies are the cornerstone of the digital frontier. For digital economies to thrive they must adopt an open and green ecosystem.
The last two years have been a series of trials. Out of the changes, there has been increasing attention in the digital world and rekindled vigor in how people, businesses and organizations should adapt.
As one of the most populous and diverse regions in the world, the Asia-Pacific is set to be the fast growing economy at the forefront of the global digital landscape. It represents two-thirds of the world’s population, and would reap an economic dividend of more than 1.7 trillion annually.
Mckinsey notes that COVID-19 has accelerated digital transformation by seven years globally and 10 years in Asia Pacific.
To catch up with this sweeping trend, many countries have released national digitalization strategies. For example, Singapore released its Smart Nation 2025 blueprint, Indonesia and Malaysia released strategies to Go Digital, Bangladesh released its Digital Bangladesh blueprint, and Thailand announced its vision to become a digital Hub in ASEAN.
From a technological point of view, the future of Asia-Pacific will require a digital economy underpinned by leading Information and Communications technology solutions and an open and green industry ecosystem is needed as soil for innovation.
And finally, we will need to chart an effective course that addresses gaps in equality to normalize the playing field.
- Build ICT Infrastructure for digital economy
ICT has already proven its value in accelerating economic recovery post-pandemic. Connectivity and computing are the lifeblood of the digital frontier. While connectivity continues to bridge the digital divide offering new education and employment opportunities, enterprises look to the cloud, connectivity and AI to optimize their businesses.
However, the digital readiness of the region varies greatly. For example, China is stepping into data dividend and information dividend, and Southeast Asia is still under the peak phase of demographic dividend. In China, 5G has been widely covered across the country and the penetration rate is more than 40% -100+Mbps, fiber home pass rate is over 90%. However, the large-scale use of 5G has only started in some SEA countries. In SEA, 4G mobile coverage is slightly above 50%, and fiber broadband only reaches one third of households. Cloud penetration in SEA enterprises is less than 20%, which indicates a huge space for data monetization and industry digitalization.
Regarding 5G technology, it is already emerging as a game changer in key industry sectors. For example, Siriraj Hospital, the largest hospital in Thailand on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, launched the first 5G smart hospital in the ASEAN region featuring smart logistics, 5G Ambulance and smart inventory management.
According to professor Dr. Prasit Watanapa, Dean of Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, “the 5G smart hospital project will be a new model for modern medical facilities, 5G provides the high-speed connections needed to ensure seamless transfer of patient data and operation of telemedicine equipment”.
In some remote areas with limited access to 5G, digital infrastructure is playing an even more important role. The Bangladesh government has made great efforts and progress in implementing network in over 2,600 townships and enabling social well-being service including e-government and finance.
In Malaysia, known as “the kingdom of spices”, HEXA Food established an Internet of Things team to train a chili identification model on Cloud MOdelArts. The image recognition technology of Atlas 500 quickly and accurately identifies the quality of the chilies. Intelligent AI-powered sorting eliminates errors in manual sorting and improves the efficiency by 50%.
- Create an open and green ecosystem
Meanwhile, every country, business and individual has faced some common questions recently — how to survive and develop with resilience and robustness in an environment full of uncertainties? The booming digital economy and low carbonization will generate new business form, new production relationships, and new value distribution systems. A healthier and greener industry ecosystem is therefore required.
First, embracing a digital Asia-Pacific will make an open and collaborative ICT ecosystem will include government, partners, operators and users and will help shape opportunities for transformation in different industries. A good example would be the joint open lab in Singapore. All companies, academics and government agencies can use the lab, where they can have access to cutting-edge robotic solutions, intelligent digital twins, and Ai development kits for research.
Secondly, moving towards carbon neutrality, digital power technologies will be essential to enable energy digitalization for a greener future. In Thailand, smart photovoltaic rooftops are being installed in over 1,200 convenience stores. This is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions for more than 1,300 tons every year. By integrating Ai and Clod in PV for optimal power generation, this makes the solar power plant to highly efficient, safe and reliable and builds the foundation for the solar to become the main energy source.
- Chart a sustainable and inclusive course
Simultaneously, we need to be aware that half the world doesn’t have internet access. In Asia-Pacific, according to the APNIC Foundation, the total internet adoption rate in the region remains below half of the total population at 48.4%. By 2023, it’s estimated this will increase to 72% (3.1Billion users), leaving more than a quarter of the region’s population still disconnected.
That’s simply untenable in an increasingly digital world as people can’t be empowered by technology if they don’t know how to use it. Service like mobile payments, government services, access to digital education and healthcare should all act as gateways to anyone and help underserved communities, including women, girls and older generations.
Take education for example, the ability to learn knowledge regardless of location has helped democratize education resource access. In the Philippines, PLDT-Smart Foundation worked with the tech company to promote the School-in-Bag project. Each backpack includes a laptop for the teacher, 20 tablets and a Smart LTE pocket Wi-Fi kit. It significantly enhanced the students’ learning capabilities, helped children absorb their lessons, and improved the teaching strategies.
Future is digital
Technology has the power to level the playing field. It can bring education, healthcare and jobs to anyone, anywhere around the world. It will revolutionize businesses and industry and it can help manage our use of the world’s resources to enable a sustainable and green future.
In the Asia-Pacific Region, the digital economy ignites social recovery and enables resilient future. It provides synergies for public-private industrial collaborations across country boundaries and scenarios. As we arrive on the precipice of a digital future, we must strive to focus on the harmony that exists between our real world, and the digital one ahead.
Infinix announces NOTE 12-PUBG partnership for smoothest gaming experience
June 16, 2022 8:23 p.m.
Infinix has announced a partnership with massively popular Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) and its newly-released NOTE 12 promising gamers hours upon hours of the smoothest gameplay experience that will test their skills and unleash their fullest gaming potential.
“Filipinos are some of the most passionate and skilled gamers out there and we, at Infinix, want to highlight that talent and the ever-growing E-sports community with this NOTE 12 partnership with PUBG,” said Infinix’s Marketing Head, Joseph Cernitchez. “From the limited edition PUBG packaging at launch, show matches with your favorite gaming influencers, to a nationwide PUBG tournament, we have so much in store for everyone that will show gamers why the NOTE 12 is the ultimate gaming phone.”
PUBG is an online multiplayer battle royale shooting game released in 2017 by PUBG studios. Inspired by the film Battle Royale (2000), the game follows how up to 100 players get parachuted onto one of several maps and how they manage to scavenge for weapons and equipment to eliminate the other players and win the round by being the last man–or team–standing.
As part of the Infinix x PUBG partnership, Infinix launched a limited edition PUBG box and case exclusively for the NOTE 12 G96.
Infinix and PUBG will also be holding a nationwide PUBG tournament that seeks to gather the best players and teams across the Philippines in a series of battle royale showdowns.
They will also bring together some of the renowned mobile gamers in an All-Star game during the tournament.
In the meantime, while you’re gathering your team for the Infinix x PUBG Mobile Cup, view the NOTE 12 in action at Infinix’ official website.
The smoothest gameplay experience
Experience the best mobile gaming experience with the MediaTek Helio G96 Ultra Gaming Processor providing more speed and power to the NOTE 12.
The chipset is a 64-bit octa-core that incorporates two powerful Arm Cortex-A76 and six Arm Cortex-A55 processor cores clocked up to 2.05GHz and Arm Mali G57 GPU that work together to harness next-level intelligence for groundbreaking performance.
Casual and heavy gamers alike will find that no game is too heavy for the NOTE 12. Infinix expands the NOTE 12’s 8GB memory to 13GB by integrating RAM and ROM to provide users with up to 5GB extended RAM.
This improves the smartphone’s processing speed and accelerates performance when users are using their smartphone to multi-task by delivering extra power when it’s needed.
The NOTE 12 is also one of the thinnest smartphones at 7.8mm that comes equipped with a 33W Fast Charge feature, and a huge 5000mAh making this lightweight smartphone more portable than ever while staying powered all day long. So gamers need not worry if they have enough juice while training and even competing.
Beyond gaming, photography enthusiasts will also love the 50MP Ultra Night Triple Camera, which can take clearer night pictures, and its large AMOLED screen with blue light technology.
The Note 12’s screen features the brightest colors on an eye-friendly display that gives the best performance in contrast ratio and color calibration in 1080×2400 pixels resolution.
Want to test your shooting skills and mettle against some of the best PUBG players in the Philippines? Watch for the Infinix x PUBG Cup–see how the Infinix NOTE 12 gives you that smoothest gameplay experience for you to reign supreme and your team may just get the chance to win the massive prize pool!
Learn more about the Infinix Cup and register your team by visiting Infinix Facebook Page.
The NOTE 12 is available in Force Black, Sapphire Blue, and Snowfall in 128GB and 256GB for P8,990 and P9,990, respectively at Infinix stores nationwide, via Shopee. For more information, visit http://www.infinixmobility.com/.