Geeks in Cambodia http://geeksincambodia.com Geeks in Cambodia Wed, 26 Jun 2019 06:39:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Facebook’s Libra: What’s In Store For Cambodia? http://geeksincambodia.com/facebooks-libra-whats-in-store-for-cambodia/ http://geeksincambodia.com/facebooks-libra-whats-in-store-for-cambodia/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2019 06:34:29 +0000 Chloe Ang http://geeksincambodia.com/?p=23483 What is Libra? 
A white paper was released, highlighting the plans that Facebook has for its latest venture. Libra presents various features that are drawing the attention of both users and big financial groups. The currency can ... More]]>
Facebook finally revealed its highly-anticipated next steps, unveiling Libra, the tech giant’s first coin cryptocurrency, on June 18.

What is Libra? 

A white paper was released, highlighting the plans that Facebook has for its latest venture. Libra presents various features that are drawing the attention of both users and big financial groups. The currency can be used to send funds instantly through the social media platform as well as its subsidiaries Whatsapp and Messenger.

Ahead of the currency’s official launch next year, Facebook informed that consumers will have another payment method made available on websites such as eBay and Booking.com, with an additional incentive of lower fees when compared to conventional bank and card services. The virtual token has already garnered the support of 28 financial groups, the most notable of which include PayPal, eBay, Uber, and Spotify. For example, Libra can be integrated within daily payments such as Uber rides and Spotify subscriptions.

With over 1.7 billion adults outside of the global organised financial system, Libra “is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people”. The cryptocurrency targets a billion people out of the global unbanked population who own mobile phones, and another half a billion who already have Internet access.

In Cambodia, only one quarter of the population has a bank account. What opportunities and threats can the digital currency pose for Cambodians?

Libra in Cambodia

In order to understand more about Libra’s impact, Geeks in Cambodia reached out to Mr Jojo Malolos, for his perspective as the CEO of Cambodia’s leading mobile banking services provider, Wing Money.

CEO of Wing Money, Jojo Malolos

“I think it will take some time before we see [the] adoption of a scheme this huge. I think success will not be driven by the innovation and technology that is being brought forward. Success will be based on the ability of Libra to get the unbanked to adapt to this channel for their financial transactions. For decades now, the world tried to capitalize on the phenomenon that there are now more people with phones than bank accounts. The de-banking of the banking industry, rendering financial institutions obsolete in managing movement of funds from one person to another, to an enterprise, from an enterprise to enterprise, to another person, [has] not happened as envisioned,” Mr Malolos expresses.

New figures have revealed that one in two Cambodians owns a Facebook account, and with such a highly social population, there is potential and positive environment for leapfrogging solutions. Social selling has been firmly entrenched in Cambodia’s social ecosystem, with most online local brands owning Facebook pages without a need for e-commerce platforms.

Local consumers have been making their orders directly through Facebook, and are most commonly using cash on delivery as a payment option. This is where Libra changes the game, as consumers can now complete their purchases directly on Facebook. Social selling on Facebook has already streamlined the process of marketing and transactions, and with Libra, online payment can now be added to the mix.

Mr Malolos elaborates, “If Libra indeed happens, there will be a huge transformation as envisioned when mobile financial services were initiated, when FinTech possibilities were pursued. More efficiency in funds movement, settlement, real-time payments, merchant payments, ‘when you need it’ disbursements, would make industries more productive, creating opportunities for more jobs, more successful businesses, more robust economy. FinTech companies will have shorter runways to prove themselves successful.”

Libra is also a great opportunity for microfinance in Cambodia through social media. Facebook can leverage the immense amount of data it possesses on its users, with the ability to reach more of the lower income communities connected to the local social network.

When asked about how Libra would impact existing financial services, Mr Jojo mentions the next steps for Wing, “Wing will continue to break financial inclusion barriers at the base of the pyramid, bringing real fintech to the unbanked and underbanked with more Wing agents penetrating remote economies much more successfully (…) With Libra it can only get better. Wing stands to be a big enabler for Libra as the most trusted channel, which the unbanked will deposit their funds into, connecting to more than 30,000 micro-merchants, 45,000 SMEs and MSMEs for various payment and disbursement use cases that can also be available in social media.“

Designed to appeal to largely social populations with limited presence of financial institutions, Libra almost seems to be adapted to growth and change in the Cambodian landscape. However, only time will tell, and Geeks in Cambodia looks forward to seeing the impact Libra can have on Cambodia’s booming economy.

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Congratulations To Techno Innovation Challenge Cambodia 2019 Winners! http://geeksincambodia.com/congratulations-to-techno-innovation-challenge-cambodia-2019-winners/ http://geeksincambodia.com/congratulations-to-techno-innovation-challenge-cambodia-2019-winners/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2019 03:02:58 +0000 Chloe Ang http://geeksincambodia.com/?p=23477 More than 200 people attended the pitching event, including university students, mentors, investors and professionals from public and private sectors, who gathered to ... More]]> Geeks in Cambodia would like to congratulate the top teams who emerged from the Techno Innovation Challenge Cambodia (TICC) final pitch on June 23 at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC)!

More than 200 people attended the pitching event, including university students, mentors, investors and professionals from public and private sectors, who gathered to see the eight teams share their STEM-based solutions that tackle real world issues. Within a span of four weeks, the TICC students have worked hard to excel during their pitches, designing and developing their prototypes in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), e-commerce, ICT solutions, education, health, agriculture, energy, and food science.

“We have seen a gradual rise in ICT innovations in Cambodia in recent years. However, it is important to keep rekindling that spark of enthusiasm, creativity and innovation among our students, so that we can stay relevant and thrive in an evolving digital age,” said Mr Houng Sopheakdara, EZECOM’s Public Relations Manager during his opening remarks.

Here are the winners of the season:

  • 1st Place – Agri-Economiser: An application to help farmers remotely control their farm  with the ability to monitor and customise irrigation, temperature and soil moisture levels.

  • 2nd Place – Cam Cuisine: Providing various flavours of affordable and ready-to-eat Amok for busy people.

  • 3rd Place – V-Ball: Healthy vegetable meatballs compatible with a wide variety of cooking methods.

The top six teams were also awarded co-working space at ITC along with a ten-week incubation programme to develop their business ideas.

Techno Innovation Challenge Cambodia 2019 Participants

French endowment fund Forica supports young Cambodians by providing funds and support to aspiring entrepreneurs. For the incubation programme, Forica is looking for business mentors to guide these budding talents along their journey with their skills and experiences. For those interested, sign up here!

For more information on TICC, visit their website, or their Facebook page.

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Smart Axiata Named Best Telecommunications Company and Best CSR Company in Cambodia Fifth Time in a Row! http://geeksincambodia.com/smart-axiata-named-best-telecommunications-company-and-best-csr-company-in-cambodia-fifth-time-in-a-row/ http://geeksincambodia.com/smart-axiata-named-best-telecommunications-company-and-best-csr-company-in-cambodia-fifth-time-in-a-row/#comments Tue, 25 Jun 2019 02:28:37 +0000 Yun Shan Seah http://geeksincambodia.com/?p=23472 “Smart’s strategic vision, continued investment in technology, deployment of innovative services and commitment to the country’s socio-economic development in 2018, stood out from ... More]]> For the fifth consecutive year, leading financial portal Global Banking and Finance Review (GBFR) has awarded Smart Axiata with the titles “Best Telecommunications Company Cambodia 2019” and “Best CSR Company Cambodia 2019”.

“Smart’s strategic vision, continued investment in technology, deployment of innovative services and commitment to the country’s socio-economic development in 2018, stood out from their competitors,” said GBFR editor Wanda Rich.

The telecommunications company has achieved many firsts on Cambodian market, such as being the first to bring 4G LTE technology to Cambodia in 2014, the first to launch 4.5G in 2017 and the first to launch direct operator billing with Apple and Google in 2018. It had also introduced numerous technological advances with Voice over Wi-Fi and eSIM services, home-based broadband service Smart @Home, as well as digital lifestyle and entertainment apps such as SmartNas and Pleng.

On the CSR side, Smart has implemented initiatives such as SmartEdu Discovery Day, SmartSpark, Cambodia Tech Summit, which contribute to over 1% of annual revenue in CSR programmes. An MoU worth 1.5 million USD was even signed with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to develop future digital talents through the SmartEdu Scholarship Programme and the SmartEdu University Student Development Programme. Thanks to Smart’s support, there is a brighter future waiting for many young Cambodians.

In response to the awards, Thomas Hundt, Chief Executive Officer of Smart Axiata, said, “To be named as the ‘Best Telecommunications Company’ and the ‘Best CSR Company’ for the fifth consecutive year shows how committed our company is towards shaping Cambodia’s future. We are also very proud of our CSR agenda and the work we do in supporting education, sports for development, environment and tech innovation for all Cambodians.”

Geeks in Cambodia congratulates Smart Axiata on maintaining their position as leader of Cambodia’s telecommunications industry and eagerly looks forward to their future progressive efforts in Cambodia’s telecommunications!

For more information on Smart Axiata, follow Smart’s Facebook page or visit www.smart.com.kh.

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Sisters Of Code Graduation Day: Celebrating Women Of The Digital Future http://geeksincambodia.com/sisters-of-code-graduation-day-celebrating-women-of-the-digital-future/ http://geeksincambodia.com/sisters-of-code-graduation-day-celebrating-women-of-the-digital-future/#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2019 09:34:01 +0000 Chloe Ang http://geeksincambodia.com/?p=23467 The students will be sharing ... More]]> The Sisters of Code programme, Cambodia’s pioneering coding club for young women, is seeing their very first batch of graduates after concluding their first edition. After 18 exciting weeks, the programme’s students will have their graduation event on June 26, from 2pm to 5pm at the Mondulkiri Café Conference Hall.

The students will be sharing their experiences from the programme, highlighting their learning takeaways and achievements, and how it has further prepared them for a digital future. Entering with no prior coding experience, the 69 accepted students have now fostered a deep understanding of coding concepts with the ability to develop games and websites, appreciating the value of coding in practical contexts.

The Sisters of Code programme aims to promote gender inclusion in the Kingdom’s thriving digital economy, showcasing the talents that Cambodian women possess in the field of technology. Geeks in Cambodia looks forward to seeing the great work of the students soon!

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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Techno Innovation Challenge Cambodia Final Pitch: STEM-Based Solutions To Real World Problems http://geeksincambodia.com/techno-innovation-challenge-cambodia-final-pitch-stem-based-solutions-to-real-world-problems/ http://geeksincambodia.com/techno-innovation-challenge-cambodia-final-pitch-stem-based-solutions-to-real-world-problems/#comments Fri, 21 Jun 2019 09:42:12 +0000 Chloe Ang http://geeksincambodia.com/?p=23460 More]]> On June 23, be sure to be at the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) for the Techno Innovation Challenge Cambodia’s (TICC) final pitching event from 8am to 12pm! The programme is ending its third edition, where eight teams will share their polished STEM-based solutions to real world problems, vying to be part of the top three teams to win up to $1,250!

The teams have undergone four weeks of intense preparation, designing solutions that tackle the themes Internet of Things or e-Commerce, Education or Health, and Agriculture or Energy. With access to technology, mentorship and training, the teams have had opportunities to learn and collaborate with one another, producing industry-approved minimum viable products.

The TEXAS A&M University College of Engineering-supported programme will also identify the top six teams of the season, awarding them with co-working spaces at ITC, and a chance to join ITC’s ten-week incubation program to develop their business ideas into real world projects. For the incubation programme, TICC is looking for passionate mentors to impart their business skills and experience, supporting participants in decision-making and prototype development. If you are interested to become a business mentor, look out for more information here!

For more information on TICC, visit their website, or their Facebook page.

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