Oracle OpenWorld Singapore, Singapore, March 26, 2019 - Oracle’s enterprise-grade blockchain platform is now available as part of Everledger’s blockchain-based solution following a rigorous development and scale evaluation process. As part of this, Everledger, a global emerging technology enterprise leading the way in real-world applications of blockchain, assessed Oracle’s blockchain offering for its ability to provide extended product capabilities to support enhanced customer solutions.
In particular, the alignment will give Everledger users the ability to shadow blockchain transactions into a relational database, making it easier to run analytics on them. This will enable improved decision making, for example, being better able to determine how long it takes to transport gemstones from mine to the wholesaler and the retailer.
A pioneer in digital provenance tracking, Everledger’s blockchain-based platform is trusted by many industries including diamonds, coloured gemstones, fine wine and art. The ability to transparently track the provenance and lifetime journey of assets as they move across global supply chains, is especially critical for high value goods. These industries are susceptible to increased potential for theft, fraud and counterfeit – in the diamond industry alone, fraud events cost the insurance industry millions of dollars a year.
Leanne Kemp, Founder & CEO Everledger says, “With an increasing consumer consciousness and a vocal demand for transparency, our work is focused on engaging entire business ecosystems to provide consumers the ability to make fully informed purchasing decisions. It is thus key for us to enable the ease of systems interaction and provide value add to our customers.
“The inclusion of Oracle Blockchain Platform in our offering enables us to deploy more innovative products and solutions for our customers globally, in particular with improved time to market for business intelligence reporting solutions. Oracle’s comprehensive enterprise-grade offering will open our customers to realising more from our blockchain-based platform and crystalise value from the data in their own systems.”
Some of the new capabilities of Oracle Blockchain Platform are deemed critical by Everledger in the integration of its blockchain-based platform with customers’ existing business and IT systems. As blockchain becomes an important data store in the enterprise, the Oracle Blockchain Platform enables users to capture blockchain transaction history and current state data for analytics as well as integrate it with other data sources.
“Our longstanding goal has been to help customers to manage, protect, analyze and use the world’s data for the benefit of all. Being able to work with innovative companies like Everledger is an amazing opportunity. We look forward to helping both the company itself further its innovations in tracking and tracing the authenticity of some of the world’s most precious items, but also helping those in the ecosystem link key data sources for wider benefit,” said Frank Xiong, group vice president, Blockchain Product Development, Oracle.
The key elements of note include:
Database access – Data is an integral part of blockchain. With much of the world’s data resident in Oracle systems, the use of Oracle Blockchain Platform to seamlessly link to those repositories will enable these same customers to leverage both their existing data stores and data on the Everledger blockchain.
Analytics – Oracle Blockchain Platform’s ability to connect to the rich histories stored in an organisation’s existing database means that Everledger can seamlessly enable analytics integration for highly visual interactive dashboards and reports.
Monitoring of network health, transaction rates, and other statistics, and other elements of blockchain administration/configuration, are made easier by enhanced REST APIs, which also simplify integration with existing enterprise IT tools.
Out of the box plug and play capabilities from the Oracle Blockchain Platform makes it not only easy for Everledger to get off the ground, but will also easier for deployment.
Developer tools - Additionally, the query tools for Oracle Blockchain Platform link into things like smart contract support standard SQL-based ledger queries, enabling organisations to leverage the skill sets their developers already have, thereby reducing the complexity of developing chaincode and boosting performance.
Only Oracle provides a comprehensive blockchain offering, including business-ready Oracle Blockchain Applications Cloud and Oracle Blockchain Platform for developers who need to build or integrate their applications. Oracle’s blockchain applications are built with Oracle Blockchain Platform and seamlessly connect with Oracle Supply Chain Management (SCM) Cloud, Oracle Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Cloud and other Oracle Cloud Applications. Oracle Blockchain Platform is production ready with enterprise-grade capabilities, easy to adopt, and quick to develop upon, accelerating customer’s blockchain journeys and saving their costs.
GCASH, the Philippines’ leading mobile money platform and is an app is widely used for transactions with its scan-to-pay or PayQR feature. In recent years, more products and services have been added to it, like GCredit, GScore, and InvestMoney.
With GCash being mobile, the platform is able to address consumer pain points. Such pain points include the lack of cash on hand for emergencies, and the lack of documentation needed in order to open an account or credit line.
“We are trying to leverage on the platform that GCash provides. We’re trying to embed our products to that platform and making access to credit convenient,” Jean-Francois Darre, CEO of Fuse Lending Incorporated and Mynt’s Financial Services Head said.
In a study conducted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), more than 40 percent of Filipinos rely on informal lending sources, with only 12 percent borrowing from a formal financial institution.
“We’re trying to make credit affordable and accessible. In the Philippines, it can be challenging sometimes for people to have access to credit because of heavy documents, requirements from financial institutions,” Darre said.
Having a democratic access to credit, according to Darre, equalizes the playing field. For him, this also means that there’s a better and safer option out there that is readily available.
GCash prides itself with its vision of “Finance for All” - its products are designed for both the banked and unbanked. While it is clear that technology helps pave the way for a more financially inclusive society, GCash knows the importance of cultivating responsible financial habits. Thus, the introduction of GScore, the country’s first trust score rating.
GScore makes use of technology to assess one’s financial capacity based on data built upon by the users relationship with the app, along with key personal identifiers. With the unfounded reputation that Filipinos cannot manage finances, this feature manages to debunk that.
“It’s a trust score which Filipinos can earn. So it’s something that they feel they earned already and can take care of,” Kim Seng, Fuse’s Head of Lending remarked as he shared his observation that within a few months of launching GScore, good payment behavior was indeed captured. “The Filipino can do it,” she adds. “All they need is the right finance partner.”
GCash recently announced that its in-app investment marketplace, Invest Money has gone off-beta, enabling more users to gain access to investing at a very affordable price point of P50. This also helps people build up a financial portfolio and in turn, builds wealth.
The Invest Money feature also mirrors the company’s goal to provide “finance for all” as the product is accessible to Filipinos from every income level, and affordable as well. It is something that one can even save up through the course of a month, according to Izza Castelo, Head of Investments.
By harnessing technology, more people are now able to build a financial history, regardless of their background. With the features and services that are already built in-app, GCash allows more and more people to participate in the economy, and for some, for the very first time to do so. It lets consumers bypass hurdles imposed by traditional banking, as it breaks down constraints by delivering greater convenience, security, and security, anytime and anywhere.
BANKS on their way to digital transformation sometimes aim to reduce the number of clients congregating in their branches. Not with Philippine Veterans Bank. They love it when their clients come in and congregate.
The Philippine Veterans Bank now called just VeteransBank is a private commercial bank owned by Filipino World War II veterans and their heirs. It has 60 branches all over the country and has, since its inception, been helping to disburse much needed funds for its many of its aging or disabled clientele. It also offers a host of banking services including loans and is also an authorized government depository bank. As part of its charter, 20 percent its annual net income is entrusted to the Board of Trustees for the Veterans of World War II (BTVWWII) for the benefit of World War II veterans and their descendants.
“Part of what we do is to provide a place where veterans can come together and chat, reminisce about old times and plan for the future. Instead of shooing our customers away, we have made it comfortable for them to stay longer,” Nonilo C. Cruz, President, Veterans Bank says with conviction.
The banks admits to being conservative. It runs its own banking system on its own on-premise servers. It operates an accounting and customer handling system that may be automated and computerized but lags behind technological developments of the present time. This is the first reason it chose digitalization.
Having an aging, clearly non-millennial market, VeteransBank still chose to embark of its own digital transformation with the help of Fiserv. This is the second reason for its digital journey. It wants to bring its customers along with them as it will also be the first time the bank will add digital banking capabilities.
Fiserv, Inc., is leading global provider of financial services technology solutions. VeteransBank specifically chose the company to help enable the its digital transformation because it can work within the parameters of its current systems as it focuses on delivering a unified customer experience that spans physical and digital channels for the first time.
“Digitalization does not mean just crunching operations into an app. More importantly it is looking at your customers’ needs and responding to it while at the same time find a digital solution. For example, to make a transaction faster, or make it more secure and automate operations in the back end. At times the customer does not want to feel digitalization. But in the interest of improving customer service, VeteransBank’s decision to use our technology to will facilitate better interactions across physical and digital channels, will allow the bank to provide seamless financial services,” Marc Mathenz, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Fiserv said.
“VeteransBank is reinforcing their commitment to serving their customers. Supporting the growing needs of more mobile and digitally savvy customers, without forgetting its core clients.” Mathenz added.
The bank will use Fiserv’s DigitalAccess for online and mobile banking. The platform extends the customer experience in new ways, integrating the bank's core account processing platform, enabling digital onboarding to allow customers to open bank accounts and apply for loans and other banking products. Visiting a bank becomes an option. But VeteransBank is sure their older customers will keep coming back.
Additional features include personal financial management tools, online mobile phone top-up capabilities, biometric authentication, actionable push notifications, and ATM and branch location searches. In the future, as bank customers interact through branch and digital channels, they will be able to get the most up-to-date account information no matter which channels they use.
“We were confident choosing Fiserv because they have a proven record of successfully launching digital banking capabilities, and we knew they could help us navigate new areas,” Camille Maricelle M. Canullas, Senior Vice President and Information Technology Group Head said.
Fiserv solutions enable clients to achieve best-in-class results in 16 countries across Asia Pacific, providinh a range of solutions to clients, including some of the largest banks in Australia, Thailand, and Indonesia, through its more than 6,000 associates in the region and offices in Sydney and Singapore. Worldwide, Fiserv supports more than 12,000 clients in over 80 countries with nearly 24,000 associates.
START-UPS are always on the look out for venture capital financing or an angel investor to move them to scale. Cashalo is a Filipino technology and financial services company got just that much needed back-up when in June this year Hong Kong-based Oriente and JG Summit Holdings, Inc. invested an initial P10 billion to the company.
The funds are going to be used over 3 years towards development, operations and expansion of a suite of financially inclusive products and services under the Cashalo brand.
Committed to building a more financially inclusive future for or all Filipinos Cashalo is a finanial technology solutions that enables fast, affordable and secure access to credit at the push of a button in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in accelerating financial inclusion for all Filipinos.
“The Philippine market holds a huge potential not only to grow a successful fintech business, but more importantly it is a huge market to serve,” Geoffrey Prentice, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Oriente, who is also co-founder of Skype.
“We want to provide a service that will disrupt those informal lenders, break the dependency cycle of high interest loans and give Filipinos the financing they deserve,” Hamilton Angluben, Cashalo General Manager said. He points out how the app uses technology to create credit scores for borrowers, which then give them access to loans. This important element encourages borrowers to be careful with what they loan and pay on time always. It also eliminates the need to borrow from informal lenders that charge exorbitant interest fees and penalties.
JG Summit CEO and Cashalo co-founder Lance Gokongwei said that the huge potential to grow the app lies in the fact that a great number of Filipinos are still unbanked. Statistics presented by the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas show that some 40 million Filipinos have no access to formal credit and credit card penetration is at a mere 2 percent.
“We are eager to serve the Filipinos and bring into the formal financial sector using Cashalo,” Gokongwei said as he elucidated further on his group's financial technology venture being able to provide low interest rates that range from 2.9 percent to 5 percent by simply using their mobile phone.
“Our aim is to be the engine driving finclusion for the Philippines, empowering millions of Filipinos that have been left behind by the limits of existing financial systems,” Angluben added, saying how despite not having a credit history, Cashalo borrowers can build financial identities to elevate their economic well-being.
Cashalo is also the founding member of the Fintech Alliance Philippines. Angluben said in his presentation how the different fintech apps, though competitors come together to exchange ideas on ways to further increase the way they can all serve the unbanked Filipinos. Cashalo wants to lead the conversation around the socio-economic impact potential of innovative financial technology companies through easier access to credit.
Cashalo is convenient, since no paperwork or collateral required. Digital solutions (like taking a photo of a driver’s license) is enough to start a loan of P1,500. The approval can be done in as little as 10 minutes.
It offers three products. CashaQuick that allows consumers quick loan access with just one ID. Cashaloan for use for tuition fees, household expenses, emergencies, or to start and grow small businesses. Loans start at P2,500 and can increase with successful repayment to P10,000. And Cashacart is a new O2O (offline to online) consumer financing product with access a digital credit line for their specific shopping needs at retail stores. Cashalo has a network of 250 retail partners (including Oppo, Cherry Mobile, Memoxpress, Robinsons Appliances and Robinsons Department stores) and loans start at P2,500 upto a maximum of P19,999.
TO enable better customer experience, secure it from attacks, ensure all branch operations are always connected and translate its presence into maximized revenues, Unionbank of the Philippines revealed its Integrated Operations Center (IOC) to a few lucky journalists who have entered its double doors, quadruple security accesses with biometrics and passcode.
But the coverage “never” happened. And the select members of the media “were not” led to a high-tech central command watchtower that looked more like a Mars-landing operations than a bank.
“It was designed to be operate like a Formula 1 team where critical data is used to make quick decisions. In our case, the IOC will supply the bank the business telemetry needed to make the right decisions to ensure we are at peak performance in terms of revenue and in keeping our customers happy,” Dennis Omila, UnionBank Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer explained.
It is a first-of-its-kind collaborative facility in the country. Highlighting the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and deep Machine Learning (ML) to do predictive analysis on various bank activities it operates under its Business Intelligence Center. Smooth integration is then done with the Security Operations Center where a huge LED screen monitors real time malware detections and scans from several cybersecurity vendors.
There are screens all over the IOC monitoring critical items that have to do with daily financial transactions, branch business operations as well as customer activation and engagement.
What is really impressive is how automated the operations are.
“The people who man the center provide the human touch to it,” explained Charmaine Valmonte, Head of IT Risk Management and Resiliency, UnionBank said as she said that left alone, the center can operate on its own and warn the personnel of specific “flags” or actions that may require human intervention.
In the Security Center for example, the various cybersecurity platforms running simultaneously were already busy reading possible emails that may contain phising threats and isolating these for quarantine, while others were indicating points in the map where possible fintech attacks were happening.
The IOC is more than a watchtower. Valmonte said the IOC stands as the “fabric” of UnionBank’s digital transformation initiative where the intertwined operations of financial management, security, customer service and branch management happen. It allows the team to be proactive and predictive to a certain extent.
“With a well-coordinated and well-trained team, the business drivers will spend less time in the pit stop,” Omila said referring back to their F1 race metaphor.
“It’s part of the fabric of our transformation. We need to keep an eye on everything - the system and processes as well as how our clients feel,” Valmonte told reporters.
UnionBank saw a 57 percent-drop in its severity incidents to three in 2017 from seven a year ago. Apart from this, the bank also saw in 2017 increased uptime for branches and offsite ATMs to 99.23 percent and 96.38 percent respectively, from 2016.