The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes and challenges for Financial Services. More than ever now, people are reliant on digital payments and new payment technologies for transactions. And keeping up with the trend, fraudsters are continuously finding creative ways to perpetuate their scams. Financial services must adopt more effective fraud detection and prevention strategies.
Having joined SAS in 2011, Ian’s global role is to provide fraud expertise to drive the product enhancement; pre-sales and business implementation of the banking fraud solution globally.
Ian’s fraud expertise is pivotal in retaining SAS’ recognition and reputation in the industry by customers and analysts; supporting marketing initiatives and strategic collaboration with key third party vendors. His career developed from the ‘ground up’ to embrace a customer focussed approach alongside analytics and strategy.
Why is There a Rise in Scams?
As people are staying and working at home, it provides a prime opportunity for fraudsters to infiltrate people’s lives remotely. Free time and the promise of additional income is a great opportunity to gain the attention of the new victim. Scams probably represent one of the most diverse ranges of modus operandi, in some way they involve a deceived individual.
From a payments fraud perspective, such scams are considered within the area of banking fraud. Most typically in today’s world, this is achieved through remote activities by the fraudster offered by digital devices. The spike in malware and phishing initiated through emails, phones and even SMS also expose us to the risks of fraud.
As recently as 2017, UK Finance, the industry body which reports on all banking fraud types, introduced a new measure covering Authorised Push Payments. This category specifically cites the genuine account holder being involved in the payment. In this category, both volume and value are increasing dramatically.
Acknowledging that genuine customers are involved, banks are having to invest more in the prevention of this type of fraud. At a minimum, this can be due to reputational risk. However, in the UK, the Payment System Regulator introduced a voluntary code. The Contingent Reimbursement Model, which has now been effective for a year, makes Payment Service Provider (PSP) liable under certain circumstances. This has increased the cost of doing business for a bank – meaning a capable fraud detection solution is going to be key.
What Banks Need to Do to Combat Fraud
Ian explains that independent of the reasons, the fraudsters are certainly on the winning team and losses are escalating. Organisations need to manage risks during the movement from traditional payment methods to the new digital options. Additional channel data that the devices of today offer along with advanced analytics can be very beneficial to overcoming digital fraud and financial crime.
Financial institutions (FIs) need to understand all payment entry points. Protecting these entry points from digital fraud can be quite complicated and tedious. The critical first steps are to start processing all data streams in real-time and to combine identity and transaction monitoring to not only identify fraud as it occurs but to prevent it even before it takes place.
The financial services industry as a whole needs to boost the utilisation of available Artificial Intelligence and machine learning technologies. Since the start of the pandemic, financial institutions have tirelessly innovated to meet customers’ needs for flexibility and immediacy. Now, with SAS’ proven technology and expertise, they must redefine how they protect themselves and their customers from the associated risks.
Ian believes that in the digital environment we live in today, the use of channel data will be pivotal for real-time analytics and automated activities within businesses. The level of needs may vary from industry to industry but they will be important to all businesses to counter fraud and make insightful strategic decisions.
Customers now expect digital services with seamless interaction. Financial services need to be meticulous in their fraud prevention while reducing false positives at the same time to improve customer experience. The number of scams is extensive, examples include romance and investment scams. The typical processes which protect other fraud types are undermined by the fact that authentication and verification of payments from a scam perspective will be validated by the deceived customer when prompted. This is very different from the immediate feedback which would come from a situation where the customer had no awareness of the activity.
- Anomaly detection and beneficiary profiling are key real-time capabilities. For example, Advanced Analytical scoring and link analysis of the beneficiary can be key indicators – mule account propensity models have been used and there is no reason why this principle cannot be expanded to identify accounts used by fraudsters
- Industry initiatives such as the beneficiary validation services. This is currently being offered in the UK and allows checking of the account details and validating these this gives confidence from the consortium perspective.
- When confirming suspicious payments with customers then alternative validation is required.
- Transaction level authentication will help to exclude specific third party fraud scenarios – this is especially true for commercial payment where multiple levels of authorisation should be included.
Increasing Customer Experience
For an overall better and more secure customer experience, digital fraud management requires an approach with a faster response to new threats to reduce false positives. Using this approach, businesses would be making faster, better informed risk-based decisions across the entire organisation. Moreover, an end-to-end fraud detection and prevention solution supports multiple channels and lines of business, enabling enterprise-wide monitoring from a single platform.
Such a solution simplifies data integration and enables FIs to combine all internal, external and third-party data to create a better predictive model tuned to the organisation’s needs. Bringing together this data on a single technology platform gives the flexibility to scale up or out as the business changes, and respond faster to new threats as they arise.
Data analytics and machine learning solutions can enable the monitoring of payments as well as non-monetary transactions and also events, thus enabling businesses to identify and respond to unwanted and suspicious behaviour in real-time. Embedded machine learning methods detect and adapt to changing behaviour patterns, resulting in more effective, robust models.
Key technology components let banks easily spot anomalies for each customer. In-memory processing delivers high-throughput, low-latency response times (even in high-volume environments) – enabling FIs to score 100% of transactions in real-time. Data without analytics is intelligence not realised and monetised, which means businesses are unable to operate at their optimum capacity.
Thus, organisations must understand the value and significance of data analytics in this fast-paced digital world. Organisations that want to survive in today’s competitive market need to build the right infrastructure and adopt the right practices across their infrastructure.
Key Trends in Financial Services
Payments fraud has historically been a third party fraud issue. Although the use of machine learning, rules and operations processes are still valid, scams require a different view of payment account activity than is typical with a bank’s processes. Because of this, there is often a complete review required of the risk management framework in place at banks and how it is applied to fraud detection.
Without technological and operational improvements, the global rise of digital fraud will surpass the losses associated with counterfeiting magnetic stripe payment cards. A and SAS suggests this digital shift is also fuelling a multibillion-dollar fraud surge worldwide.
These are key trends that Ian is seeing in the market:
- Digital payments present an escalating global risk.
- Though prevalent payment technologies vary by region, fraud trends have significant commonalities across geographies.
- This indicates that criminals coordinate and share information more openly than do FIs, giving them a significant advantage in thwarting fraud controls.
- Cross-border fraud is increasingly common.
- Digital fraud is increasing in frequency and sophistication.
- Fraudsters and criminal networks’ arsenal of tricks are becoming as advanced as the technologies used to detect their activities.
- Social engineering, phishing and identity schemes, and the breadth of digital payment methods are shifting the odds in the bad guys’ favour.
- Layered technology and analytic capabilities are needed to identify overlapping threats in real-time.
- The complexity of criminals’ attack vectors demands a layered approach to preventing and detecting fraud, while also providing a means to orchestrate strategies and investigation activities.
- Automated actions and predictive case management powered by AI and machine learning can help reduce reliance on human resources.
- Data is critical.
- Using data for real-time analytics and automated actions will be crucial to thriving in this new digital normal.
Big Data Analytics in Financial Industry
Digital fraud is increasing in frequency and sophistication. Fraudsters and criminal networks’ arsenal of tricks are becoming as advanced as the technologies used to detect their activities. Social engineering, phishing and identity schemes and the breadth of digital payment methods are shifting the odds in the bad guys’ favour.
Organisations should be aware that new payment mechanisms are especially targeted due to ineffective risk mitigation controls at launch. Layered technology and analytic capabilities are needed to identify overlapping threats in real-time. The complexity of criminals’ attack vectors demands a layered approach to preventing and detecting fraud, while also providing a means to orchestrate strategies and investigation activities.
Automated actions and predictive case management powered by AI and machine learning can help reduce reliance on human resources. Data is critical. Using data for real-time analytics and automated actions will be crucial to thriving in this new digital normal.
Capabilities will vary based on technological maturity, but organisations at all stages have a common need for as much real-time data as possible to make effective decisions. Importantly, deploying cloud infrastructure for fraud management systems boosts data ingestion capabilities.
How can Banks Manage Fraud in CryptoCurrency?
Crypto is currently ungoverned and uncontrolled, it is ripe for abuse. And therefore Fraud and Financial Crime is always going levitate towards any such exposure. Ian has seen in this region the combination of the proceeds of fraud and money laundering being converted to cryptocurrencies offer an alternative to the principles of Money Laundering and the underlying placement, layering and integration necessary to support this criminal activity.
Crypto and the underlying Distributed Ledger technology, undoubtedly brings a great deal of additional security in principle but always it’s the endpoints and the consumer who are the weakest link. From a fraud perspective, Ian does not think the fraudsters are needing to be too innovative currently, they are focussed on committing Account Takeover (ATO) and hacking to steal.
Ian believes that SAS is creating the future of our interactions with data, analytics and AI – delivering an innovative system for a more intelligent, responsible and safer world.
To transform a world of data into a world of intelligence, organisations need to empower and inspire everyone with the most trusted analytics. SAS do this by bringing the capability to curiosity so people and organisations can drive progress – making better decisions and improving lives.
- Better Together – SAS develops strategic partnerships, open integration and drive collaboration in communities and industry. Through developing leading innovations together, SAS creates positive change.
- For Everyone – SAS brings together creators and consumers and give access to data and insights through analytics that adapt to people. SAS does this through simplifying model development, providing end-to-end analytics capabilities and driving responsible and transparent AI.
- Everywhere – SAS’s cloud-native platform drives digital transformation, unleashing value from data analytics wherever it resides, from the cloud, on-premise or coming off the edge in sensors and devices.
How SAS Determines the Best Strategy for Effective Fraud Detection
- Security by design
This is not a bolt-on option to a financial instrument, it’s the core battleground for consumer adoption and recommendation – 83% of millennials would change the bank account for better CX. Security is not locking the doors, nor is it raising the bar so high you inflict overdue pressures on your good clients and operational staff. It is using all the intelligence available to ensure you can correctly identify risk, and seamlessly move to the correct challenge response – visiting the branch with physical ID is not an option in COVID-19 times, but even before, you are likely to lose a customer.
While SAS controls the use of personal data FI’s should all be very aware of the provisions for fraud detection and maximise the use and analytics using relevant data. SAS can ingest and process in real-time both internal and external data which can all add to understanding the traits of normality or not. Establish clear fraud definitions and continuously question the value of data and the quality of AI decisions.
You need to orchestrate and adapt using external providers which add value to the ability to trust an interaction, analytically led examination understanding the value both positive and negative allow for better decisions for your business and customers, given the ability to leverage various data sources and change both a waterfall of events and enrich certain decision points is the right way to make those decisions.
- Consortium Intelligence
Use the intelligence from wider networks, share and syndicate fraud reporting. Experience is a competitive issue – fraud needs a concerted intelligence sharing on a real-time basis, use systems such as innovation which enables sharing with minimum personal data facilitating a common language for the exchange of fraud data
To handle digital fraud, businesses need more than just standard analytics. They need to implement adaptive techniques including AI and machine learning, supervised machine learning, unsupervised machine learning, network analysis and text analysis. All of these technologies form a powerful force for improving both the accuracy and efficiency of fraud detection. It only makes sense to bring fraud, Anti Money Laundering (AML) and cyber functions together.
Here are key considerations of a strategy for an effective defence using analytics:
- Converge fraud and AML programmes. Centralise insights from multiple sources, including cyber-event data, for more complete customer risk assessments in a broader context.
- Establish consistent business processes. Intuitive workflow and case management support more efficient investigations, faster resolutions, fewer false positives and higher productivity.
- Reduce false positives. Advanced analytics and machine learning can reduce such anomalies so investigative analyses can focus on the cases that pose the most risk to the organisation.
- Intelligently prioritise alerts for triage, investigation and disposition. Advanced analytics can let defenders quickly see areas of interest and where to focus first.
- Leverage interactive visualisations. Investigations can be more targeted and conducted more efficiently through the use of interactive graphics and tables. Import, search, filter and visualise the results in different ways to reveal patterns, people and events hidden in complex data.
- Easy report generation. Findings can be documented with screen captures, analyst notes and images and advanced reporting that presents data to stakeholders and decision-makers much more impactful.
The Future of Fraud Prevention and Management
The pandemic has opened Pandora’s box of global fraud. Based on a recent survey (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) and SAS) responses from nearly 900 ACFE members worldwide, the 2022 Anti-Fraud Technology Benchmarking Report illuminates how organisations across sectors are using technology to fight fraud.
More than 40% of respondents reported accelerating their use of data analytics significantly (14%) or slightly (29%) amid the pandemic. The majority (60%) expect their anti-fraud tech budgets to grow over the next two years. Advanced analytics topped the investment list, particularly artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (cited by 26% of respondents) followed by predictive analytics/modelling (22%).
Analytics is an indispensable fraud detection tool. When asked about their use of analytics, nearly all survey participants indicated their organisation’s use of data analytics was beneficial in helping them:
- Boost the volume of transactions reviewed or suspected fraud cases identified (99%);
- Timeliness of their anomaly detection (98%);
- Efficiency in automating time-consuming tasks (98%); and
- Overall accuracy in reducing false-positive rates (97%).
Data-sharing consortiums are gaining momentum. Internal structured data sources remain the crux of most organisations’ anti-fraud analytics initiatives (cited by 80% of respondents), but many are also tapping a variety of external data sources, including:
- Public records (41%),
- Law enforcement or government watch lists (31%),
- Social media (29%),
- Other third-party data (25%), and data from connected devices (25%).
Organisations are using a variety of emerging technologies to fight fraud. The report highlights the growing use of technologies like physical and behavioural biometrics, computer vision analysis, robotic process automation (RPA), blockchain, and virtual and augmented reality.
Current use of these technologies ranges from:
- 7% (virtual/augmented reality) to
- 34% (physical biometrics) of surveyed organisations.
- Among respondents from organisations not using particular emerging technology,
- 13% (virtual/augmented reality) to
- 19% (RPA) expect to deploy it within the next one to two years.
Technology and SAS Cloud/SaaS is making deployments quicker and easier. Cloud capability is making updates and new functions available. Digital data such as identity, biometrics and user behaviours are becoming key. Although the level of data is massive, it’s all for the great good and is helping to make our lives safer.
Enterprise transformation refers to a significant shift in the way a company conducts its day-to-day operations. This could involve adjusting an organisation’s fundamental technology, the structure of the company’s workforce or the way the company creates and markets its goods.
Enterprise transformation can take many different forms, one of the most prevalent of which is when an organisation makes a significant change in the products or services it offers. Currently, with digital technology, adjustments like this are occurring more frequently.
Companies are realising that they need to modify their approaches to meet the ever-evolving requirements of their customers as well as the consistently expanding standards set by their rivals.
Simultaneously, several Digital technologies, including Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Big Data, Virtual reality, Augmented Reality, Robotics and automation, among others, have the potential to transform how businesses operate. They can transform various functions of the value chain, such as logistics & supply, manufacturing, engineering, marketing, customer service, corporate management and support functions.
With their versatility and agility, these technologies can be deployed to numerous industries, among these are Healthcare, Food & Beverage, Manufacturing, Services and Mobility.
Innovative Business: What Lies Ahead?
“Businesses need innovation, not only for survival but for future growth,” says Vikram. “Innovation could emerge as product innovation, process innovation, service innovation or business model innovation to create a long-term sustainable advantage.”
Enterprises have been creating legacies based on research and development (R&D) which has LED them to incremental innovations. However, innovation is disruptive or transformational and it can be around product processes, services and business models.
Transformational innovation represents innovation that transforms businesses and innovates processes to create long-term sustainable, competitive, profitable business models. Disruptive innovation is targeted more towards identifying and inventing new mechanisms to solve existing and anticipated problem statements in businesses, which is also expected to have a business impact.
Many businesses do not distinguish between R&D and innovation. Enterprises today, however, are better able to distinguish themselves from one another and can understand and appreciate the impact that innovation has in comparison to R&D’s function.
R&D is an essential part of most businesses, and the benefits it brings are usually small and mostly limited to the people who work in R&D.
Innovation, on the other hand, isn’t just a function; it’s also a way of thinking for the whole organisation. It affects everything from the process to the product to the service to the business model, and the expected size of its effects is disruptive rather than incremental.
This further demonstrates how the current difficult business and economic environment has forced companies with lower levels of technology adoption and digital maturity to rethink their operations.
Enterprises can now assess the possibilities that technology integration may bring about, not only to address their current problem statements but also to consider new opportunities, whether it takes the form of a product, service, or business model.
There are a few common KPIs that should be measured regularly to gauge an organisation’s and its employees’ level of digital maturity. Vikram believes that because every organisation is unique, the KPIs used for assessments will vary.
For example, the key metrics for some common functions, like customer experience, data and insights, strategic and leadership, technology, operations, digital skill sets and so on, would need to be customised based on how they have changed and how they are changing now.
“We can get innovations which can predict based on the data analytics for the next 10 years,” Vikram reveals. “Every organisation should think out-of-the-box. Then they only need the right set of people who can guide them for the KPIs to be defined.”
Additionally, a variety of industries, including those in healthcare, food and beverage, manufacturing, services, FMCG, mobility, hospitality, and many more, can adapt to new technologies.
The following are crucial actions that businesses need to take today to digitally transform their futures:
- Identify your key employees’ level of digital maturity
- Research the technologies that are currently being used by the Enterprise’s various functions
- Select current issue citations
- Sort the problem statements according to priority
- Assess a system for locating, evaluating, and integrating digital technologies
- After a framework has been chosen and put into place, make the process iterative
- Establish it as the Enterprise’s mentality
Urban Ideas and Solutions Through LKYGBPC
When it comes to entrepreneurs who are truly pushing the envelope, Vikram is looking for certain characteristics. One of these is how the participants interact with businesses, which is determined by a unique set of criteria.
“And because we engage with various sets of parameters when looking at entrepreneurs, we can combine their efforts with those of the business,” Vikram explains.
Therefore, they bring the enterprise work and the entrepreneurs together when looking at the entrepreneurs, especially in the GHV DX LAB framework – they are the project managers and the system integrator for GHV.
The digital transformation, specifically the adoption of online business models and the general shift of economic and social activities online, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, has altered how economies operate, businesses function and societies interact.
The exploitation of data is the driving force behind the emergence of a new type of data-driven economy. It creates new opportunities for international cooperation to leapfrog the intermediate infrastructure of the industrial age, taking advantage of the new markets made available by digital platforms and the improved service delivery made possible by smart technologies.
In addition, the most effective mechanism in education would be to integrate innovation and entrepreneurship at the earliest possible stages of the educational system. In today’s context, entrepreneurship is about more than just passion, raising capital, or coding something; it’s about building a network around yourself to support your entrepreneurial journey. The network is critical.
Vikram spent sixteen years in Japan before relocating to Singapore and India to establish a business. He has realised that he must contribute significantly to society. For Vikram, LKYGBPC is a fantastic platform that can be an integral part of any entrepreneur’s entrepreneurial journey.
As opportunities for entrepreneurs are created through this platform, a global network of mentors and other ecosystem partners are integrated with LKYGBPC to focus on the entrepreneurs. “I think it’s a fantastic platform that is desperately needed right now, not just in the context of Singapore or Southeast Asia, but for the global market,” Vikram is convinced.
He believes that a combination of all these factors pushed him into the venture capital world. “I enjoy being a techie. But I’m enjoying my current role as a mentor to thousands of Asian entrepreneurs.”
Vikram has mentored over 1200 startups to date, including 3 that will soon be unicorns. He has personally invested in over 50 startups, and through the GHV Fund, he has invested in over 20 startups. “Every day, I learn something new and give it back to society in the same way.”
Building intellectual property (IP) rights has been the best part of his digital journey so far, and he hopes to keep doing this. “The level of self-satisfaction I feel is never as high as when I say IP is greater. You can make a lot of money consulting, but that doesn’t get me excited if you can’t create IP and work together. And that’s why what we’ve been doing around it can be great,” Vikram concludes.
The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), Malaysia’s lead digital economy agency, has kicked off the eRezeki programme for 2022. It is a training and job placement programme which focuses on generating high-value income opportunities for gig workers.
The programme runs from 1 October to 31 December 2022 and aims to upskill over 8,000 gig workers with a focus on participation from B40 and M40 households. The programme is one that falls under the banner of the MDEC Saya Digital campaign which includes four focus pillars:
- SayaDigital For Daily Work
- SayaDigital Empowers Careers
- SayaDigital Generates Income
- SayaDigital Expands Business
eRezeki emphasises the third focus pillar of the Saya Digital campaign which is to generate income opportunities in high-value sectors that include the creative sector; repairs, installation and maintenance including domestic services; tour and travel services; healthcare and lifestyle; professional digital services, advertising, promotion, and marketing; education and training; as well as distribution services.
The CEO of MDEC stated that the agency has consistently introduced campaigns and programmes which aim to create high-value employment opportunities for the Rakyat while at the same time, encouraging the development and growth of the sharing economy in Malaysia.
He noted that as announced during the launch of the national strategic initiative, Malaysia Digital (MD), MDEC’s inclusive approach towards fostering a conducive ecosystem for local entrepreneurs and global champions will help increase the contribution from the digital economy to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Effective collaboration with MDEC partners, especially in encouraging sharing economy activities including the gig economy, is expected to further democratise and facilitate access towards increased participation in the high-growth digital economy.
MDEC will work closely with 10 strategic partners from relevant high-value sectors that have been appointed based on set criteria and their capacity in providing high-income jobs. Throughout the duration of the eRezeki programme, MDEC’s strategic partner will conduct training and provide placement for gig workers through online platforms and physical sessions.
The 10 strategic partners for eRezeki have been appointed based on their involvement in high-value sectors as identified by MDEC. Furthermore, these companies were selected from a pool of 137 MDEC strategic partners approved by the Crowdsourcing Committee.
In 2014, the Crowdsourcing Committee led by the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia (K-KOMM) was mandated by the Digital Malaysia Steering Committee to focus on validating sharing economy platforms in Malaysia.
The eRezeki programme was introduced in 2015 to provide an avenue for the urban B40 and M40 communities to earn additional income from the digital platform. The programme was also identified as a key programme under the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (RMK12).
Since its introduction, eRezeki has successfully trained a total of 312,735 participants to take advantage of the digital platform and earn an income online, generating a total collective income worth RM2.51 billion as of December 2021.
Both in normal circumstances and in times of crisis, Thai people are known to generate a lot of innovative ideas and continue to develop products that make their lives better. This encompasses and encapsulates the nation’s most recent campaign, Innovation Thailand, which promotes Thai creativity to a global audience.
The Innovation Thailand Alliance consists of partners from a variety of sectors including government agencies, private organisations, educational institutions, and civil societies. Through it, the National Innovation Agency of Thailand (NIA), is expanding the scope of its Innovation Thailand platform.
The fundamental goal is to use national/local ideas to revitalise the nation by promoting awareness of and pride in inventive Thai works. Allies will serve as ambassadors in the effort to promote Thailand as an innovative nation. They will be able to exchange knowledge and skills with one another at the same time.
All stakeholders are enthusiastic to help Thailand achieve its goal of being one of the world’s top 30 innovative nations by 2030 and turning Thailand into an innovation-driven country.
Innovation Capabilities of Thai People
The National Innovation Agency’s mission is to support and develop Thailand’s innovation system to promote economic restructuring and competitive enhancement.
“We began the Innovation Thailand campaign before COVID-19 because we faced a significant challenge in terms of how not only Thai people but also global clients, perceive the nation’s unique products and services,” explains Dr Pun-Arj.
Even though this may not be directly related to innovation, the NIA has attempted to communicate and brand national innovation in such a way that it can be easily connected not only with Thais but also with international customers – this is how they started the Innovation Thailand platform.
Thailand is a tourist destination and one of the top three in the world, which has caused the country to innovate their lifestyle as well as their livelihood.
Thai culture places a high value on craftsmanship and attention to detail. Thai innovation for artful living is a process created exclusively by the fusion of modern technology and knowledge passed down from one generation to the next.
“We have created ingenious solutions through this method that enhances the standard of living in terms of society, prosperity, health, safety, and the environment,” Dr Pun-Arj furthers.
They began to construct a community to exchange ideas, develop, and manage innovation that would result in delivering some information or any significant strategic movement that the government could initiate.
They are recruiting more Chief Innovation Officers from not only the private sector but also the public sector and universities, as part of their primary target group.
Dr Pun-Arj is looking to enhance the opportunities brought in by innovation, particularly at the regional level in the city. This is because they are working not only on economic development but also on the skillset of the social innovation division and platform.
“As a result, our primary focus is on regionalisations of innovation possibilities, as well as startups – innovation-based firms,” reveals Dr Pun-Arj.
He believes that every successful community is built upon a robust and well-functioning infrastructure. Hence, Thailand’s industries and infrastructure will be modernised to meet upcoming challenges.
“In the past, one of our five-year priorities included buildings which we identify as system integrators. As the system and ecosystem become more robust, we are transitioning from system integrators to full core facilitators.”
He emphasised the need to consider the impact of being a system integrator before transforming themselves into focal facilitators. Furthermore, the country wants to make better use of the enormous resource of innovation in universities to conduct research and technology in collaboration with other organisations across the world.
Through the City Innovation Index, which focuses primarily on districts and cities, the NIA promotes and monitors the constant innovation and evaluation of diverse organisations. Periodically, they performed surveys in particular industries to evaluate and propose answers for the difficulties they face.
A strong innovation strategy will evaluate the overall objectives, the target portfolio for innovation initiatives, and the process for allocating the necessary resources. The portfolio clearly defines innovation-critical benchmarks and bounds. Therefore, the nation will become democratic and transparent.
“I believe the government’s most essential innovation strategy focuses on three specific concerns. You must have highly strong and capable businesses of all sizes that will establish a very strong enterprise on its own. And secondly, you must have laws and regulations,” Dr Pun-Arj asserts. “In addition, governance is also required and identifying future risks.”
Thailand is struggling with several issues, including inequality, which includes limited access to public services, digital technology, education, and environmental problems. High manufacturing costs and new types of competition in the global supply chain became challenges for Thailand, with this, innovation has emerged as the country’s answer.
Additionally, there are many challenges in terms of digital transformation and government service and the nation is pushing for innovation that can deliver a good policy and deploy it into practice.
In the previous five-year plan, NIA primarily focused on the job of system integrator into four core facilitators. “That is why the short-term strategy is to train management in the methods, programmes, and activities that we have implemented over the last five years.”
NIA is primarily concentrated on strengthening the potential of regional innovation in several key sectors such as new technologies, assistance for startups, venture capital creation or investment for innovation, and internationalisation of Thailand’s innovation.
Dr Pun-Arj envisions a stronger Thai economy and society, with innovation playing a key role in propelling it. The Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) model is a plan for the country’s growth and post-pandemic recovery. The BCG model focuses on four strategic sectors: agriculture and food, wellness and medicine, energy, materials, and biochemicals and tourism and creative economy.
It emphasises using science, technology, and innovation to turn Thailand’s comparative advantage in biological and cultural diversity into a competitive advantage. The primary aim is to support the sustainability of biological resources, develop local economies and communities and make Thai BCG industries more competitive and resilient to societal changes.
The approach is meant to make Thailand’s economy, society, and environment more sustainable and inclusive. “To achieve the 2030 goal, we must work incredibly hard to encourage innovation in this BCG economy. At the same time, the national policy needs to be improved.”
Dr Pun-Arj has been recognised as a pioneer in the domains of foresight and innovation management in the country. He counsels anyone aspiring to be a great innovator to fully comprehend the concepts of uncertainty and failure.
“Innovation will help us grow as a community or nation by making ourselves and others aware of the importance of innovation,” Dr Pun-Arj concludes.
The Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA) surveyed 135 organisations and enterprises in Vietnam on ensuring information security. One out of every four organisations and businesses have had their systems interrupted or attacked in 2022, while 76% of organisations and businesses lack sufficient staff for information security.
The information was revealed by former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Thanh Hung, who is chair of VNISA, during a plenary session at an international workshop during the Vietnam 2022 Information Security Day.
The survey found that 58% of organisations have doubts about technology and 47% about security holes. Around 68% of organisations and businesses said they still don’t have enough money to invest in information security annually. At the workshop, Tran Dang Khoa, the Deputy Head of the Authority of Information Security, said that in the last 11 months, the agency has recognised, warned, and instructed companies on how to handle 11,212 cyberattacks. The number of information systems in accordance with the new levels accounts for 54.8%. One of the key tasks of the agency in 2023 is submitting information to the Prime Minister for the issuance of a directive on legal compliance and security.
The workshop was sponsored by MIC and organised by VNISA and MIC and addressed “safe” digital transformation. MIC’s Deputy Minister, Nguyen Huy Dung, stated that ensuring safety in cyberspace is the task of all agencies, units, and people. Dung stressed that digital transformation is a national long-term programme. It means bringing people’s and businesses’ activities into a digital environment. It is necessary to protect more than 3,000 information systems of the state’s agencies, as well as activities in cyberspace of nearly one million businesses, five million business households, 26 million households, and 100 million people.
Dung noted that ensuring safe cyberspace and safety for organisations and people in cyberspace is the responsibility of all agencies, organisations, and people, with the principle ‘like cyberspace, like the real world’. The agencies in charge of certain fields in real life will also be in charge of those fields in the virtual environment, he said.
In October, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh issued Directive No. 18/CT-TTg on accelerating the implementation of activities to respond to cybersecurity incidents in Vietnam. The directive states that the government will pay more attention to reviewing, detecting, and fixing vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It will proactively monitor and detect any network information insecurity risks to promptly handle incidents. It will strictly implement regulations on reporting online information security incidents.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the directive describes cybersecurity as an important, cross-cutting pillar in the creation of digital trust. Its promotion will protect the country’s prosperous development in the digital era as the country attempts comprehensive national digital transformation. Chinh urged stakeholders to thoroughly grasp the contents of the Directive and devise measures to address and timely handle cybersecurity incidents. Stakeholders include ministers and heads of ministerial-level agencies, among others.
Aquaculture is important to the Thai economy. To ensure the long-term growth of this important industry, it is necessary to strengthen the production system by increasing farmers’ sustainable farming capacity and implementing Aquaculture 4.0.
To help with this effort, the nation’s National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre under the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NECTEC-NSTDA) created Aqua-IoT, an IoT-based monitoring system for water’s physical, chemical, and biological qualities.
Dr Supanit Porntheeraphat, Principal Researcher of the NECTEC Digital Agriculture Technology Research Team, explained that the project to develop a digital aquaculture system began at NECTEC in 2010 at the height of disease outbreaks that severely harmed Thailand’s aquaculture industry and the overall economy. The system has been constantly developed and improved since then.
The integration of key data – physical, chemical, and biological water qualities, as well as weather – into a single dashboard allows users to understand the relationship between the data, analyse the data, and make informed decisions.
Dr Supanit added that Aqua-IoT is made up of four major systems: the Water and Weather Monitoring System, the MuEye System, the ChemEye System, and the Minimal Lab System. The first system measures water quality (temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen) as well as weather (wind speed and direction, light intensity, and rainfall).
These variables are critical for aeration and feed management. The MuEye System is intended to track the growth of aquatic animals and parasites, whereas the ChemEye is a chemical reader that measures the levels of nitrite, ammonia, chlorine, phosphate, and pH in the pond.
Minimal Lab is a probiotic application management system that monitors bacteria growth. The system is also integrated with BIOTEC-NSTDA disease diagnostic tests for shrimp and fish, with test results automatically sent to an online database that users can access via a web browser and a message application.
Aqua-IoT technology has already been licenced to businesses, allowing the devices to be sold commercially. Its advantages include energy and feed cost savings, as well as disease risk reduction. On the first crop, a return on investment can be expected.
The research team began introducing Aqua-IoT to aquaculture farmers in the eastern region in 2020. Working closely with farmers, according to Dr Supanit, allows researchers to better understand their requirements and needs, which leads to the development of other technologies to support aquaculture farming.
An automatic shrimp counting machine for managing pond density and a lift net machine that automatically measures shrimp density for feed and water quality management are two technologies under development.
Udon Songserm, the owner of Wasin Farm in Rayong Province, shared his Aqua-IoT experience. He clearly sees the benefits of cost, time, and labour savings after having the system installed in one of his ponds. He no longer needs to be on-site all the time to keep an eye on his ponds.
Dissolved oxygen data enables him to activate aerators only when needed, rather than always having the machines on, significantly reducing energy costs. Data on water’s chemical and biological properties prompt him to take appropriate actions to avoid losses caused by toxic conditions and disease outbreaks.
Udon also stated that some of the data collected from this pond, such as temperature, can be applied to other ponds in the area. The temperature has a direct effect on dissolved oxygen and can thus be used to manage aeration.
The NSTDA is tasked with accelerating science, technology, and innovation development in Thailand to respond to industry needs and improve the country’s competitiveness in the global economy, thereby contributing to national economic and social development. NSTDA is made up of five national research centres and two organisations involved in technology transfer and business development and promotion including the NECTEC.
At the Indonesian G20 Presidency Summit in 2022, the topic of digital transformation was given top priority. In several G20 activities, Mira Tayyiba, secretary general of the Ministry of Communication and Informatics, said that the leaders of the G20 member countries are concerned about the issue of digital transformation.
Digital issues, such as employment, discussing digital, education, health, and other topics, are discussed in many working groups, according to Secretary-General Mira. The G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) has focused on discussing digital transformation on three priority issues such as cross-border data flow and data free flow with trust; digital skills, and literacy; and post-COVID-19 connectivity and recovery.
She clarified that they are discussing connectivity as well as human resources who can make use of and discuss flowing data. The second of these three issues, known as digital iteration, can be classified as a multilateral issue because it affects all G20 members, so there is no disagreement.
Secretary General Mira described the connectivity and recovery problem following the COVID-19 pandemic as a regional problem as not all G20 members are developed nations. While the G20 includes developed nations like the G7, it also includes emerging nations like South Africa and Brazil. Some groups continue to discuss connectivity even after they refer to it as connectivity.
G20 membership is split into three sects, Secretary General Mira said when speaking about the third data-related issue. The first madhhab, which is more individualised, is European. The second is the corporate-based American school, and the third is the state-based Chinese school.
With the convergence of these three schools, the G20 Indonesia Presidency can create an agreement based on shared values, stating that the transfer of data must be done in a way that is ethical, just, and transparent.
Secretary General Mira extended an invitation to the millennials in attendance at the discussion forum to cooperate and work together more to usher in a new era of digital transformation by supporting the upkeep of a clean and secure digital space. She has urged everyone to make good use of digital technology and safeguard a safe, moral and responsible online environment.
According to Dedy Permadi, the alternate chair of the G20 Digital Economy Working Group, the government of the Republic of Indonesia is fighting for tangible outcomes at the G20 Summit, one of which is the use of digital technology for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
According to Dedy Permadi, one of the discussions between Indonesia and the G20 member countries is about the use of digital technology for MSMEs for them to survive and grow by going digital or online.
One of the solutions was digital technology, and prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of MSMEs that went digital was around 9 million of the total 64 million MSMEs that contributed 60 per cent of Indonesia’s GDP. This is a fantastic deal. During the pandemic, approximately 12 million MSMEs were added.
Digital technology is used by about 32% of the 64 million MSMEs in Indonesia or 21 million of them. This means that as of right now, 68% of MSMEs have not used the digital space to help their businesses grow. Hence, it is a goal of the G20 countries to learn more about how digital connectivity can help the world economy get back on its feet.
At the recently held 3rd Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) meeting, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced the signing of eight (8) Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) and unveiled fourteen (14) new joint projects underneath the Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative (SCI).
The Singapore-China (Shenzhen) Smart City Initiative, inaugurated in 2019, has strengthened the digital and commercial ties between Singapore and Shenzhen, according to Joseph Leong, co-chair of the JIC and Permanent Secretary for Communications and Information. Both parties have worked hard to improve SCI as a powerful platform for digital innovation, smart city collaboration, and business and people exchanges during the past three years, despite the challenges of the epidemic.
Singapore and Shenzhen will actively create a suitable business environment for enterprises to innovate and undertake cross-border transactions safely and smoothly as they build economic recovery and resilience. As the SCI enters its third year of implementation, the meeting reported doubling the number of new cooperative initiatives compared to the prior year.
These new initiatives will strengthen the existing Singapore-Shenzhen partnership in fostering digital transformation and policy innovation and open new commercial and employment prospects in the fields of research and innovation, trade, sustainability, and talent development. In the past year, one of the most important areas of collaboration has been the ease of digital trade using electronic Bills of Lading (eBLs).
After evaluating the outcomes of successful technical trade trials over the previous year, IMDA and Shenzhen’s Bureau of Commerce are prepared to extend IMDA’s TradeTrust pilot with actual business transactions involving banks, shippers, and other partners. This would open the door for the complete digitalization of the trade supply chain and benefit the ecosystem by enabling quicker and more secure digital trade transactions.
IMDA has also expanded its relationship with TusStar, a major Chinese technological incubator with a network of over 10,000 enterprises. TusStar will develop its network in the fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, and sensor technologies in the next phase, as well as strengthen its regional presence in Southeast Asia by instituting hub operations in Singapore. This collaboration will introduce technology start-ups from Singapore, Shenzhen, and other Chinese cities to new markets in the region.
The 14 new cooperative projects demonstrate digital technologies’ revolutionary significance throughout the SCI’s key areas of digital connection, talent exchange and development, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
Notable initiatives include the application of sophisticated technology and artificial intelligence (AI) for the green economy and sustainability, such as lowering carbon dioxide emissions and improving battery management for electric vehicles.
SCI has so far begun 29 projects and signed 21 memorandums of understanding. This strong momentum in the SCI partnership demonstrates Singapore and Shenzhen’s leadership in digital economy development, as well as the possibility for SCI’s innovative projects to be scaled to more cities in the Greater Bay Area and Southeast Asia.
By creating a thriving digital economy and an inclusive digital society, IMDA guides Singapore’s digital transformation. As the “Architects of Singapore’s Digital Future,” the agency works to make Singapore a digital metropolis by promoting growth in the Infocomm technology and media industries alongside progressive policies, utilising cutting-edge technologies, and building local talent and digital infrastructure ecosystems.