Alipay Supports Growth Opportunities and Digital Innovation for Start-Ups in Malaysia
As part of Alipay’s commitment to supporting digital innovation and talent cultivation in Southeast Asia, the Company 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.
“Running a Sustainable & Scalable Social Enterprise in Malaysia.”
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.