December 5, 2018
As part of Alipay’s commitment to supporting digital innovation and talent cultivation in Southeast Asia, the Company today launched its Malaysia roadshow for the Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge (“ANSIC”). ANSIC is a joint initiative by Alipay, the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”), and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (“NUS”). The roadshow was held at WORQ Subang in Shah Alam, Selangor, where Alipay shared its experience of how technology can be used to solve real world problems with start-up entrepreneurs in Asia.
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Alipay Senior Algorithm Engineer Xin Guo sharing the story of Dingsunbao with local start-ups in Malaysia. (Photo: Business Wire)
Alipay’s Senior Algorithm Engineer Xin Guo, explained to a crowd of Malaysian start-up entrepreneurs how he and his team developed the idea of using AI to make car damage claims more efficient for insurance companies, reduce costs and most importantly, increase convenience for car owners.
On a rainy evening in September 2016, Xin Guo recalled being involved in a car accident that caused some minor damages to the vehicle. He then waited for 30 minutes for his insurance company to dispatch a claims adjuster, who had been delayed from handling other similar accidents. Despite the wait, it had ultimately, only taken a few minutes to file the claim. While the average waiting time for human claim adjusters to arrive at minor car accidents in China is 30 minutes, in congested cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, car owners may have to wait for hours.
This unpleasant experience made Guo wonder: If AI could be used to automate this common process, wouldn’t that be a win-win for insurers and car owners?
At Ant Financial, every team member is empowered to leverage the power of technology to solve real world problems. Guo pitched his idea to his superior and quickly obtained approval to start building a feasible solution from scratch, using the company’s resources. Using AI, machine learning and computer vision, Xin Guo and his team worked day and night to develop a technology service that became known as Dingsunbao, or “Loss Assessment Master”. In August 2017, after eight months of development and testing, the first official version of Dingsunbao was launched. The service allows car owners to upload images and videos of their damaged vehicles, and have their claims processed within seconds. Through technology, insurance companies are able to save significant resources by freeing up human claim adjusters to focus on more complicated accidents. Customer satisfaction also significantly improved.
In China, it has been difficult for insurers to strike the right balance between operational costs and customer satisfaction. Most insurance companies barely break even or in fact lose money from their automobile insurance business due to labor costs and fierce competition. This has now changed with the introduction of Dingsunbao. As of May 2018, Dingsunbao helped insurance companies reduce their costs of claims handling by over RMB 1 billion, and saved claim adjusters 750,000 hours of time through the automation of the claims process.
Xin Guo’s sharing session at the ANSIC roadshow sparked lively discussion from participating start-up entrepreneurs.
Separately, Dr. Melissa Foo, VP of Social Innovation of Agensi Inovasi Malaysia, moderated a panel discussion entitled, “Running a Sustainable & Scalable Social Enterprise in Malaysia.” Panelists included Redza Shahid, CEO and co-founder of Grub Cycle, a social supermarket that is dedicated to reducing food waste and Suzanne Ling, co-founder of the Picha Project, a social enterprise providing sustainable catering services to help refugee families in Malaysia.
Discussing the role of technology in addressing social issues, Redza Shahid commented, “Food waste is a global issue and we want to help. Grub Cycle works with restaurants and supermarkets to buy food that they can’t sell then distribute the food at a discount to low income groups, through online and offline channels. It really makes a difference when our suppliers and consumers can see in real-time how much they have saved by using Grub Cycle.”
Susanne Ling explained the reasons she started Picha Project, "The value of social enterprise is in solving real issues. Picha wants to help refugees in Malaysia have a way to support their families before they are able to return to their home country. Our chefs are all refugees in Malaysia who would otherwise have little chance of getting a job. We are focusing on using technology to bring out the stories of our chefs, making corporate catering more convenient and marketing more effective."
Xin Guo said, “It’s very exciting to see so many young, energetic and ambitious start-ups in Malaysia today. Alipay is also a start-up company. We hope by sharing our own experiences and working with partners here, we can contribute to supporting local innovation and the growth of more indigenous start-ups that use digital technology to address real world problems and benefit more people.”
The Malaysian roadshow is part of a series of events in Southeast Asia to help raise awareness of the Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge and to inspire new ideas and innovation in the region. In Malaysia, Ant Financial supports its partner Touch n’ Go with technological capabilities and experience in implementing a mobile payment platform to offer innovative payment solutions and other inclusive financial services.
For more information on the Challenge, please visit www.alipaynusseachallenge.com.
About Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge
The Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge aims to identify and support the growth of start-ups in Southeast Asia that are using digital technology to build a more inclusive society. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, enabling low-income groups to gain access to better educational opportunities, supporting elderly individuals leverage digital technologies to enhance their lifestyle, and helping people with disabilities through upskilling and reskilling initiatives.
The inaugural Alipay-NUS Enterprise Social Innovation Challenge is taking place in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Applicants can participate by registering online at www.alipaynusseachallenge.com. Applications will close in January 2019. The first round of judging will determine the top three winners within each country, who will each receive a cash prize of SGD $10,000. The nine finalists will compete for the top cash prize of SGD $50,000 in the grand finale, to be held in Singapore in March 2019.
The winning teams will not only receive financial rewards to invest toward increasing their social impact, but also receive support to accelerate their growth through networks, mentorship and partnership opportunities with Ant Financial, NUS and other partners in the ecosystem. Top teams will also receive three-month incubation support by NUS Enterprise, as well as access to its BLOCK71 community and co-working space in Singapore, Bandung, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Suzhou and San Francisco.
A series of workshops and roadshows have been held in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, to build awareness of the challenge, encourage applications and support further growth for the participating teams.
In addition, the winners will become eligible for the 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion programme jointly provided by International Financial Corporation (“IFC”), a member of the World Bank Group, and Alipay. The comprehensive training programme will support the cultivation of 1,000 technology experts in emerging markets from both public and private sectors over the next 10 years. There will also be potential opportunities to work with Ant Financial and Alipay on CSR initiatives.
This latest initiative builds on the work and strategic partnerships that Ant Financial has been carrying out in Southeast Asia. Ant Financial has been sharing its technology capabilities with strategic e-wallet partners such as TrueMoney in Thailand, DANA in Indonesia, GCash in the Philippines and Touch ‘n Go in Malaysia, to enable them to innovate and better service their customers.
About Ant Financial
Ant Financial Services Group is dedicated to using technology to bring the world equal opportunities. Our technologies, including blockchain, artificial intelligence, security, Internet of Things and computing, empower us and our ecosystem partners to serve the unbanked and underbanked, bringing more secure, transparent, cost-effective and inclusive financial services to individuals and SMEs worldwide.
Ant Financial has formed international partnerships with global strategic partners to serve local users in those markets, and we serve Chinese travelers overseas by connecting Alipay with online and offline merchants in popular destinations. Brands under Ant Financial Services Group include Alipay, Ant Fortune, Zhima Credit, MYbank and Ant Financial Cloud.
For more information on Ant Financial, please visit our website at www.antfin.com or follow us on Twitter @AntFinancial.
Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world’s largest mobile and online payment platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay currently works with over 200 domestic financial institution partners. Over the years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Alipay’s in-store payment service covers over 40 countries and regions across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 29 countries and regions. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.