• SMEs need to accelerate development to increase digital adoption in Malaysia
  • TalentCorp calls for re-look at strategies to equip students with skills
  • Banks in Singapore to use NETS QR code for cashless payments
  • Expect Huge Rise in Global Influence by Innovative Chinese Companies Over Next Decade

SMEs need to accelerate development to increase digital adoption in Malaysia

Nikolai Dobberstein, a partner at global management consulting firm AT Kearney, said Malaysia is still under par in digital adoption. According to data from Euromonitor, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and research by AT Kearney itself, Malaysia’s digital investment share of GDP is too low given its GDP per capita. Simply put, with their productivity, Malaysian industry should be investing much more in digital. “This is surprising because Malaysia for the last fifteen years has more than 65% Internet adoption,” continued Dobberstein. The deeper question is what are Malaysians doing with all that time on the Net. Online conversion rate of B2C marketplaces in Malaysia is less than 1% and when compared to countries like the US, China and India whose Internet penetration is similar or lower to that of Malaysia. Their conversion rate is around 3%. “That has to do with the lack of offerings that are seen and the understanding of the value proposition,” explained Dobberstein, highlighting that Malaysia’s online marketing spend is one-eighth of what it is in India, and one-tenth of Singapore’s.  Another reason is because the SME digital adoption is low. Although SMEs contribute 35% to 40% to the Malaysian GDP, only 20% to 25% of them have an online presence. “It has to do with the simple fact that they don’t perceive the benefits. They think it’s very expensive,” elucidated Dobberstein. “They are unfamiliar with it, so it requires quite a bit of education.” (DNA)

Need to Re-Look Strategies to Equip Students With Skills

There is a need to re-look strategies and approaches for the transformation of the education base in order to equip students with skills for existing and future jobs, said Talent Corp Malaysia. Its Chief Executive Officer, Shareen Shariza Abdul Ghani, said the moves were also to develop proper talent to attract, retain and nurture talent in preparing for the future, as well as to identify the market’s requirements. “The needs of the future should also be factored in when developing new courses of education,” she told reporters after the launch of ‘Future of Work, Workplace, Workforce Conference’ in Kuala Lumpur. She said as of today, an estimated 65 per cent of the children entering primary school would ultimately end up working in completely new job types that did not even exist yet. (Bernama)

Banks in Singapore to use NETS QR code for cashless payments

Seven banks in Singapore will offer consumers the option of paying using NETS QR code by the middle of next year. In a joint press briefing today, DBS Bank, OCBC and UOB said they have come on board NETS’ QR code platform. They will be joined by HSBC, Maybank and Standard Chartered Bank to enable this payment offering. Citibank is also on board, offering the payment option for small, cash-based merchants, they said. All of NETS’ acceptance points will be QR code-enabled by mid-2018, according to the press release. To encourage the installation of NETS terminals by hawkers, NETS is waiving all terminal and transaction fees for three years, it said. (CNA)

JP Morgan Expects Huge Rise in Global Influence by Innovative Chinese Companies Over Next Decade

JP Morgan’s chairman and chief executive officer for Asia Pacific expects China to have at least a quarter of the world’s top 500 companies, and account for 20 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) within a decade from its current World Bank estimate of more than 14 per cent. Nicolas Aguzin told South China Morning Post that its progress in the financial technology (fintec) and consumer sectors would be especially dramatic, with emerging Chinese firms becoming increasingly respected globally for their quality of innovation and creativity. China took a huge step towards internationalising its financial services sector earlier this month, saying it will now allow foreign firms to own stakes of up to 51 per cent in local securities joint ventures  and fund managers, a limit that will be removed completely in three years. Currently Western finance houses can own no more than 49 per cent of a domestic Chinese venture in these categories. (SCMP)