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Taiwan: plans that will enable Fintech firms to access more customer data

Karim Hussami

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Taiwan: plans that will enable Fintech firms to access more customer data

An open database of information is highly relevant for enterprises to get an idea of people’s needs and preferences which will give companies a chance to improve the quality of their products and services and help cultivate new ones.

The Joint Credit Information Center (JCIC) in Taiwan is planning to establish a database for local financial technology firms to obtain information on consumers’ credit risk information, the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) reported.

One of the ways in which financial service providers tend to use or deliver innovative services, is by adopting new technology. This has led Taiwan financial industry to spend over $700 million in 2017, on FinTech R&D and solutions in the areas of AI, AML, biometrics, blockchain, cloud services, cybersecurity, data analytics, payment, among other tech initiatives.

More info, better service

Taiwan’s information technology infrastructure is well-developed, with 90% 4G penetration and 80% mobile penetration, according to the International Trade Administration. “Taiwan is a strong market for e-commerce, online entertainment, mobile payment, and other technology-driven services.”

According to FSC Banking Bureau, electronic payment users exceeded eight million people in April 2020.

Respectively, information about consumers is a crucial part in company’s businesses and continuity as well as its success, that is why sharing is essential to progress.

After Fintech companies held a meeting in June 2020 with Taiwan’s Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Thomas Huang, suggestions circulated during the discussion noting that the center should make its data accessible to the fintech firms for the fact that the type of information it provides could help with developing various financial products or services.

As plans go ahead, the database would be launched in October 2021, according to the Banking Bureau, adding that fintech companies could also use the National Development Council’s open data service.

According to the Taipei Times, up until this time, 426 financial sector companies including local banks, securities firms, credit cooperatives, insurance providers and credit card issuers are among the businesses that have benefitted from JCIC’s raw data – currently not including Fintech enterprises.

Consumer approval before gaining access

Accessing information related to consumers is not as simple as one might think because it depends on customer approval and whether they agree to share their personal preferences online for a specific service.

Banking Bureau Chief Secretary Phil Tong said, “With consumers’ approval, the agency (JCIC) would provide their lending and repayment data to the companies, including how much money they have borrowed, what kind of loans they have taken and whether they have repaid on time.”

According to sources, the new database will not include consumers’ raw data and will follow personal data protection rules. The JCIC doesn’t share customers actual financial records.

Obviously, the new normal in business practice is for companies to obtain information about their customers, whether by their own efforts or by the help of a third party. Today, data enables growth.

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Journalist for 7 years in print media, with a bachelor degree in Political Science and International Affairs. Masters in Media communications.

Fintech

Mastercard, Geidea team up to bring contactless payments to Saudi Arabia

Inside Telecom Staff

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contactless payments

Global financial services company Mastercard, and Geidea, the largest fintech company in Saudi Arabia by market share, announced earlier this week a strategic partnership agreement to accept Mastercard payments using a Tap-on-Phone solution in Saudi Arabia.

Geidea is the first fintech company to roll out contactless payments acceptance technology across the Kingdom, which will enable businesses to use smartphones as payment acceptance devices.

Tap-on-Phone is an innovative, intuitive, and cost-effective app-based solution that allows small businesses to quickly embrace electronic acceptance through their smart mobile or tablet device.

With smart phone penetration of more than 70 percent in the Kingdom, Tap-on-Phone has the potential to reach over 300,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and merchants in the first year alone.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a shift in consumer behavior towards digital and contactless payments channels, making it imperative for businesses to adapt and shift to a more online based model. We are therefore proud to partner with Mastercard and provide businesses with a relevant solution that offers the ability to accept safe, secure and seamless contactless payments through Tap-on-Phone technology,” said Abdullah Al-Othman, the Founder and Chairman of Geidea.

Presently, the Geidea network provides payment and e-commerce solutions to more than 100,000 merchants – covering 600,000 payment terminals and ATMs within the Kingdom.

As one of the many use cases, Tap-on-Phone enables more SMEs to accept secure card payments on delivery, in lieu of cash-on-delivery (COD) which is often the only on-delivery payment option.

According to Bain.com, around 62 percent of MENA online shoppers choose COD as payment method when buying online, compared with less than five percent in the UK and France. Cash conversion is key to developing a new payment landscape and improve consumer experience.

“Through our partnership with Geidea, we can help small businesses expand their ability to accept digital payments and grow their earning potential. The solution will also help Saudi Arabia to transition safely into a secure digital payment ecosystem, without the risks associated with a large cash pool,” said J.K. Khalil, Country Manager, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain & Levant, Mastercard.

Tap-on-Phone makes it easier for SMEs to use their compatible smartphones to accept quick, easy, and secure, payments from their customers for goods or services. It saves businesses money and time, because all they need to receive electronic payments is an NFC-enabled Android device on version 7.0 or newer.

Geidea also recently became the only non-bank institution in Saudi Arabia to be granted an acquiring license from Saudi Central Bank (SAMA). The license enables the fintech company to process secure, fast, and seamless end-to-end payment solutions directly to merchants.

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Facial recognition for payments to reach 1.4 billion users by 2025

Inside Telecom Staff

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Facial recognition for payments

Contactless payments have been one of FinTech’s most prized innovation, silently growing in popularity within all types of commerce and shopping, with the pandemic skyrocketing its adoption across the board.

As such, facial recognition for payments is on track to become the new norm of payment methods as the number of users of software-based facial recognition to secure payments will exceed 1.4 billion globally by 2025, from just 671 million in 2020, a new study by Juniper Research found.

This rapid growth of 120 percent demonstrates how widespread facial recognition has become; fueled by its low barriers to entry, a front-facing camera and appropriate software.

“We identified the implementation of FaceID by Apple as accelerating the growth of the wider facial recognition market, despite the challenges to facial recognition during the pandemic with face mask use,” the research highlighted.

Seeing that technological innovation tend to trickle down toward other uses, all indications point toward the inevitable growth toward facial recognition for payments.

However, researchers at Juniper recommend that facial recognition vendors implement robust and rapidly evolving AI‑based verification checks to ensure the validity of user identity, or risk losing user trust in the authentication method as spoofing attempts increase.

Fingerprint sensors dominant, facial recognition growing

The new research – called ‘Mobile Payment Authentication: Biometrics, Regulation & Market Forecasts 2021-2025’ – found that fingerprint sensors will feature on 93 percent of biometrically equipped smartphones in 2025.

This compares favorably to hardware-based facial recognition, with just 17 percent of biometrically equipped smartphones featuring these capabilities in 2025.

“Hardware-based facial recognition is growing, but the ability to carry out facial recognition via software is limiting its adoption rate. As the need for a secure mobile authentication environment grows, smartphone vendors will need to increasingly turn to more robust hardware-based systems to keep pace with fraudsters’ evolving tactics,” research co-author Susan Morrow explained.

Voice recognition for payments growing, but limited in scope

In parallel, the report also found that the use of voice recognition for payments is increasing, from 111 million users in 2020, to over 704 million in 2025. The research identified that, at present, voice recognition is mostly used in banking, and will struggle to grow beyond this, due to concerns around robustness.

“Juniper Research recommends that vendors adopt a multi-method biometric strategy, which encompasses facial recognition, fingerprints, voice and behavioral indicators to ensure a secure payment environment,” the report authors noted.

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Celsius wins best cryptocurrency wallet for 2021

Inside Telecom Staff

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Best Cryptocurrency Wallet

London-based FinTech company Celsius has been awarded the Best Cryptocurrency Wallet award in the fifth annual FinTech Breakthrough Awards program which recognizes the top companies, technologies, and products in the global FinTech market today.

Celsius generates yield on crypto through its robust crypto-lending business and diversified deployment channels. Celsius manages over $10 billion in cryptocurrencies and is available in over one hundred countries around the world.

Celsius takes advantage of blockchain technology and provides a platform of curated services that have been abandoned by big banks such as high yield, zero fees, and lightning quick transactions as well as weekly rewards.

Users can also earn up to 15 percent APY in rewards on their crypto assets and access loans starting at just 1 percent interest rates. There is no minimum balance and with the Celsius app, sending crypto is as easy as sending a text. Celsius always acts in the best interest of its community, and rewards paid to users form up to 80 percent of Celsius’ revenues.

“Our approach has translated into more than just a crypto earning service. We are now a community of over 500,000 believers. Believers in blockchain, believers in high reward earning assets, and believers in achieving financial freedom,” said Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky.

The FinTech Breakthrough Awards is the premier awards program founded to recognize the FinTech innovators, leaders, and visionaries from around the world in a range of categories, including Digital Banking, Personal Finance, Lending, Payments, Investments, RegTech, InsurTech and many more.

“Celsius has a worthy mission in providing people with better opportunities to gain financial freedom,” said James Johnson, Managing Director, FinTech Breakthrough an independent market intelligence organization.

“We are thrilled to recognize Celsius for their success and momentum in this mission, serving as a true example of breakthrough technology in the FinTech space. We extend our sincere congratulations to the entire Celsius team for winning Best Cryptocurrency Wallet for 2021,” Johnson added.

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