Digital trends in payments in Asia

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Technological innovations are changing the payments landscape in Asia, including the Philippines. This was underscored during the forum on “Ushering in the Future of Payments” hosted by Citi Philippines recently at the Citi Plaza in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Debopama Sen, Citi’s ASEAN Treasury and Trade Solutions head, said, “Business models have to transform because clients are driving changes.” Sen said people wanted the ability to decide immediately when to order or acquire a service or product, regardless of time and/or day. “Customers want instant fulfillment of the transaction, which includes the underlying payment.”

The forum was attended by almost 170 representatives of local corporations and global subsidiaries.

Sen said, to respond to customer demand for faster payment schemes, “Businesses and companies are moving towards online and real-time (payment).”

Guest speakers from various government agencies affirmed their commitment to continue establishing a regulatory environment that supported the development of a national payment system and allow digital innovations to flourish.

Keynote speaker Chuchi G. Fonacier, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) deputy governor, said both the private sector and regulators had unique roles to play in the future of payments. “As a catalyst for change, the BSP is open to collaborative discussions on how to reduce further friction in payments towards a more efficient, more secure and more reliable payment system in the Philippines.”

Fonacier said, “The BSP remains steadfast in embracing growth opportunities through technology and the digital transformation of the banking system. We continue to monitor the environment and issue regulations aimed at mitigating effects of payment-related risk, to promote financial integrity, transparency in financial transactions, uphold consumer protection and elevate the overall confidence of the public in the national payment system.”

Citi Philippines’ Treasury and Trade Solutions head Arlene Nethercott said Citi adopted a consultative partnership to address the challenges in managing clients’ working capital. She said the launch of the Philippine EFT System and Operations Network (PESONet), a batch electronic funds transfer (EFT) payment stream that enables same-day, full-value transactions, was a step towards modernizing the country’s payment system.

“We aim to align with the BSP to achieve 20 percent increase in electronic payments by 2020,” said Nethercott.  “We are currently working to promote faster payments while allowing member banks to settle among themselves prior to giving final credit to clients.”

Nethercott added that Citi’s own next-generation banking platform, CitiDirect BE, provided one-click access to global transaction capabilities. The platform supports numerous transaction types across multiple geographies, subsidiaries and currencies. Users can manage accounts, payments, receivables, liquidity, trade, foreign exchange and reporting across the globe with online, mobile and tablet versions.

Citi is working with clients throughout Asia to develop solutions using the latest technological advances, from instant payments to machine learning.

Citi Asia Pacific Core Cash Management for Treasury and Trade Solutions head Morgan McKenney explained, “Big data storage and retrieval, real-time cloud computing, mobile phones, high band width, secure internet and API (Application Programming Interfaces) technology – all these individual components are coming together leading to shifting business models, regulatory driven changes as well as changes in client approach and expectations.” McKenney said the newer technologies resulted in the evolution of the payment infrastructure, as corporations searched for payment solutions that increased sales, reduced costs and improved margins.

McKenney said, in Asia, opportunities for the development of these technologies were fueled by significant growth in disposable income, extensive Internet and mobile access, emergence of new and frictionless payment mechanisms and the drive of regulators to fuel growth.

The forum ended with a panel discussion by Raymond Estioko, BSP’s Payment System Oversight Department acting director, and National Retail Payment System (NRPS) Core Team chair; Melit Araneta, Philippine Payments Management Inc (PPMI) general manager; and Bureau of Internal Revenue assistant commissioner Charo Curiba and Client Support Service OIC head revenue executive assistant Janette Cruz.

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5 travel fails to avoid

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Traveling is such a wonderful thing! It helps you appreciate different cultures and teaches you so many lessons that aren’t taught in the classroom. But to make each trip truly meaningful, you have to prepare very well for it.

But even seasoned travelers may run into unforeseen setbacks. Here is a list of common travel fails and what to do in case you find yourself in one.

  1. Missed flight or other modes of transportation

Missing your flight or other transfers can be very stressful and costly as it can change your itinerary. But don’t panic! Find out your options, such as travel alternatives to your destination.

Be flexible, too! Know your schedule to give yourself ample time to prepare. While it’s good to have an itinerary, it’s also helpful to have a flexible schedule so you can immediately adjust to unforeseen circumstances.

  1. Lost luggage

Make your luggage easily identifiable by adding some personal touches, like a luggage cover protector or bag tags with your name and address. If the airline loses your luggage, report it immediately. Have the basic necessities and at least one set of clothes in your carry-on bag to tide you over as you wait for your luggage. If the airline is unable to recover your bag, your travel insurance can help.

Make travel insurance a part of your travel checklist. Get protection from Smart Traveller of Charter Ping An. Not only will it provide protection for your personal belongings, it also comes with a wide range of benefits, including 24-hour medical assistance, personal accident coverage, liability and personal safety coverage, and even refunds for unexpected expenses. Application is easy! Visit the AXA website (www.axa.com.ph/charterpingan/smart-traveller) and choose the ideal coverage for your trip. Eligible applicants must hold Philippine identification documents like birth certificate, long-term visa pass, dependent or student pass, and employment certificate for adults 18 to 70 years old.

  1. Luggage overload

Lugging  heavy suitcases as you chase after a bus or train or try to catch your flight makes travel more difficult, stressful, and even costly because it could mean paying extra for excess baggage. Pack light by choosing clothes that are suitable for any situation and occasion. Bring only the most essential. Have your toiletries in miniature containers and carry your jacket instead of putting it in your bag.

  1. Lost/missing travel documents

Travelers who are rushing may misplace things like passports or other important documents. When that happens, remember to keep calm and immediately ask for assistance from the nearest embassy or consulate. Keep electronic and paper copies of your passport and other necessary documents with you, and constantly check your valuables wherever you go.

  1. Cash shortage

Having cash is the easiest way to pay for things when traveling, but if you’re not careful, you can run low on cash before the end of your trip. To make your cash last long, bring a refillable water container so you don‘t have to buy bottled water, or shop at local stores for affordable and authentic local cuisines. Create a daily budget for your trip and stick to it. Have a credit card for emergencies.

Traveling is a good investment. Enjoy a hassle-free vacation and always be protected by availing of Smart Traveller now. For more information, visit http://www.axa.com.ph.

24/7 Emergency Roadside Assistance for KTM Riders

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KTM customers who will buy street-legal motorcycles on May 1, 2018 to April 30, 2019 from authorized local distributor Adventure Cycle Philippines, Inc. and its growing network of dealers around the country are qualified to avail the nationwide emergency roadside assistance coverage through Ibero Asistencia Philippines, global market pioneer in roadside travel assistance.

Under an agreement signed recently by KTM and Ibero, KTM riders enrolled in the program can contact Ibero’s assistance coordinator through (02) 4594755, a 24/7 call center hotline in 86 areas in Luzon, 17 in Visayas, and 7 in Mindanao if they need motorcycle assistance like engine trouble, towing, removal of damaged unit or delivery of fuel or spare key. In the event that you lose your key, Ibero shall even cover the cost for replacing the key.

The assistance coordinator can also arrange for legal assistance, ambulance service, hospital admission, and accident coordination with relevant government units such as PNP, PNP-HG, MMDA, Skyway Patrol, among others in times of emergencies.

Other services available include lodging and travel expenses coverage of up to two nights at an agreed rate of up to P2,000 per night in case of immobilization, and if the motorcycle’s repair time is longer than 48 hours as established by the repair facility; or the arrangement of an alternate means of transportation to the intended destination; or reimbursement of alternative transportation expenses.

“Our customers deserve nothing less than the best after-sale services because our relationship with them does not end after the purchase,” says Dino Santos, COO, Adventure Cycle Philippines, Inc. “With Ibero Asistencia partnership; they get total peace of mind and utmost customer service available across the country.”

KTM is the first motorcycle manufacturer in the country to provide the most comprehensive emergency roadside assistance on all of its street-legal motorcycles.

For more information, visit KTM Philippines official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/KTMPHILIPPINES/.

Discovery Perlas Pilipinas wins in Japan tourney anew

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Former women’s national basketball team Discovery Perlas Pilipinas topped for the second year in a row in the recent Memorial Day Tournament at the Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.

Cheering the team on its way to a back-to-back victory was Cynthia Tiu, team manager and acknowledged mother of Philippine women’s Basketball. A member of the family behind the Discovery group of hotels and resorts, Tiu has made it her personal mission to provide full and unwavering support to Discovery Perlas Pilipinas. She has been an advocate for women’s basketball since 2008. That year, for the first time in Philippine history, the national team won the gold in the SEABA Tournament and two silver medals in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The Discovery Perlas consists of 12 members, each a bemedalled baller from top educational institutions: Ish Tiu, SEA Games silver medalist, from Ateneo de Manila University; Ella Rodriguez, from Los Angeles, California and a player from Enderun Colleges; Joylyn Pangilinan, a member of the Guam National Team who is also from Enderun Colleges; Karla Manuel, Carolina Sanggalang, Sai Larosa and SEA Games silver medalist Joy Galicia, all from the University of Santo Tomas; Ford Grajales, SEA Games silver medalist, from Lyceum of the Philippines University; Lhen Flormata, SEA Games silver Medalist, also from Lyceum; Rica Francisco, from Rizal Technological University; Angeli Gloriani, SEA Games silver medalist, from De La Salle University; and Banjo Soriano, a member of University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion team from Far Eastern University.

Rodriguez, 25 and 5”11, received the Most Valuable Player Award while Pangilinan, 19, a Filipino-American from Guam, was chosen as a member of the “Mythical Five” of NAASCU (National Athletic Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities).

Haydee Ong, the team’s head coach, says victory did not come easy. “It takes a lot of sacrifice to prepare a team for an international competition. First of all, you have to deal with the different players’ various other commitments. Some of our players are already working and some are playing for different universities,” she says.

Assistant Coach Sen Dysangco credited Tiu and the Discovery group for their patronage that helped Discovery Perlas achieve so much. “Through thick and thin, win or lose, she (Tiu) has always tried to generate grassroots support for women’s basketball,” says Dysangco. Private sector support, he says, is much needed as government funding is not enough to cover the team’s expenses.

Discovery Country Suites Gets Shortlisted for Haute Grandeur’s Global Hotel Awards

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Discovery Country Suites Tagaytay

Discovery Country Suites has been shortlisted along with some of the world’s best hotels for Haute Grandeur’s Global Hotel Awards. Haute Grandeur is an independent award-giving body that recognizes the best hospitality experience from across 7 continents, 172 countries, and 90 categories. To be awarded by Haute Grandeur, different factors are taken into consideration, such as rooms, food & beverage, service, overall hotel facilities, location, ambience, design, unique guest experience, online presence, guest reviews, among others.

As a part of The Discovery Leisure Company’s roster of hotels and resorts, Discovery Country Suites provides a calm respite for its guests with their picturesque view of Taal and its trademark outstanding service. As a seven-suite manor home, one of the things that separate Discovery Country Suites from most hotels is its exclusivity. Those who enter the property can immediately feel the distinctive feeling of home. From the personalized service, elegant suites, signature experience of wine and cheese at sundown, to the sumptuous dishes of Restaurant Verbena, a stay at Discovery Country Suites is a unique experience in itself.

Being shortlisted for a prestigious award is already an honor for Discovery Country Suites, but excellence has always been imparted in their roots. Guest ratings are an important part of winning the award, which is why guests are encouraged to share their honest feedback through various travel websites. Winners will be announced on November 1, 2018.

Discovery Country Suites is located along 300 Calamba Road, San Jose, Tagaytay City, 4120 Philippines. For inquiries and reservations, call (02) 5298172, email reservations@dcs.discovery.com.ph or visit http://www.discoverycountrysuites.com.

 

ABOUT DISCOVERY COUNTRY SUITES

With seven elegant and unique suites that radiate the feeling of home with the view of Taal Lake and Volcano right at its window, Discovery Country Suites offers a relaxing stay for guests looking for a Tagaytay getaway. Inside the property is Restaurant Verbena – serving up fresh dishes and staying true to its country contemporary cuisine tied together with the “Service that’s All Heart” Discovery has always been known for.

With so much to explore in Tagaytay, Discovery Country Suites neighbors some of the country’s best golf courses, flower farms, spa resorts, and concept restaurants.

 

Stay up to date & follow us:                                                              For more information:

Facebook: /DiscoveryCountrySuites/ Angela Padilla
       
Twitter: @DCSTagaytay Marketing Communications Director
Instagram: @discoverycountrysuites
      apadilla@discovery.com.ph

 

About Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards

The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards was established as an independent and unbiased initiative to honour the very highest achievements from across the global hotel industry in 2014, recognising exceptional contributions by outstanding hotels with Marinique De Wet as CEO at the helm. This prestigious Awards system is exclusive to the Haute Grandeur brand, and considered without equal because of its method. Unbiased results are guaranteed by placing emphasis on quality feedback from guests, rather than quantity of votes by a panel of judges or general public.

A wealth of experience and thorough understanding of the global hotel and spa Awards industries result from 10 years’ hands-on experience in operations – including her role as Managing Director of two highly successful international luxury hotel & spa Awards brands, and Editor of numerous industry-related publications. As a solutions-driven and insightful individual, she identified the need for an absolute transparent rating system due to industry concerns with existing systems in recent years. “I wanted to improve existing global Awards concepts to offer a more alternative system, where participants are guided on how they can improve on their existing service levels as part of the recognition process”, shares Marinique. “Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards is focused on fairness and transparency that form the basis of any credible Awards system.”

The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Awards promise to raise service delivery levels by means of awarding only the very best in the industry. It aims to focus on hotels that do not want to win the “average” award and celebrates the very best in hotel experiences across 7 continents, 172 countries and 90 categories. Participating hotels are generally seen as the benchmark in the industry as they create awareness about the value and importance of constantly raising the bar of excellence.

The value of a Haute Grandeur Global Hotel Award is powerful in terms of its ability to boost marketing and promises to have a direct impact on guests perceptions and revenue. It provides the much needed inspiration that hotels look for by identifying role model properties across all continents in order to further raise their current levels of service delivery to even greater heights.

The annual Awards Gala Ceremony where winners are revealed, is not only the most dazzling event of the year on the luxury hotel industry calendar, it also highlights the values of leadership, hard work, dedication, ambition and success. This event takes place each year in a different exotic location and offers hoteliers in attendance new networking opportunities.

The Haute Grandeur Global Hotel AwardsTM provide travelers with a trusted source of Award winning properties to choose from when booking their holidays or business trips, knowing that our winners have been hand-picked and rewarded for overall excellence on many levels. The Awards aims to be regarded as the largest & most trusted Awards initiative in the world with a rating process that is transparent and fair.

Myths and facts about weight-loss supplements

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Losing weight requires a lot of dedication and hard work and may involve physical and emotional costs. It is hardly surprising that many prefer the easy route by taking weight-loss supplements. While almost all weight-loss supplements are marketed as beneficial for the body, some may actually be harmful to one’s health.

Nutrition experts debunk certain claims about weight-loss supplements and reveal possible health risks.

Myth #1: Weight-loss supplements are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Truth: The US FDA does not have the authority to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. It only steps in when a “dietary supplement” is found to contain harmful substances.

Myth #2: Weight-loss supplements alone are enough to lose pounds.

Truth: Weight-loss supplements cannot substitute for healthy eating and regular exercise. Many weight-loss supplements’ labels include a disclaimer that they do not guarantee a specific weight-loss benefit, that individual results may vary and, to get the most benefit, they must be combined with proper diet and exercise.

Myth #3: Supplements like Hoodia, green tea and bitter orange aid in weight loss.

Truth: Green tea, bitter orange and the African herb hoodia have not been scientifically proven to burn fat. In fact, hoodia has not been studied in humans. It is also unclear if it curbs appetite. Green tea contains a fair amount of caffeine, which may result in some weight loss initially, but it will not burn fat. Too much caffeine can affect the heart rhythm and disturb sleep. Bitter orange has synephrine, an alkaloid found in plants, that can be dangerous to health as it increases heart rate and blood pressure.

Myth #4: “Natural” is safe.

While some supplements may result in weight loss in the short term, they may have long-term adverse effects on the body, which may not be able to handle the stress of dramatic weight loss or process artificial food and supplements. They may be unsafe for those with existing medical conditions or those who need to lose a lot of weight.

If you feed your body the right kinds of food, avoid unhealthy snacks and adopt other healthy habits, you should be able to rebalance and reboot your metabolism naturally. Nothing beats fresh and good food to improve health and promote healthy weight loss.

 

Liza Soberano has “No Time To Wait”

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At such a young age, Liza Soberanohas already attained so much in her career as an A-list actress, with a string of top-rating television showsand nottop-grossing movie blockbustersto her name, earning herthe title of box-office queen. Yet, with all that she has achieved, Liza also learned to keep her feet firmly on the ground, and never allowed all that success get to her.

In many ways,Liza stands as a role model and inspiration, a reflection of the ideals thatthe youth aspire for: to be independent and goal oriented, accomplishing feats in their own terms through hard work and a boundless creative energy that pushes them forward.Truly, Liza is youthful, driven, and highly talented.

Similarly, Liza is also the perfect embodiment of TechnoMarine’s “No Time To Wait” campaign, a celebration ofthe passionate spirit that drives the now generation as they break stereotypes and take hold of the opportunities that come their way. They are relentless, with a clear vision of where they want to go and how to get there.

For young achievers like you on the rise, there’s a TechnoMarine watch that’s your perfect partner at work or at play: the NEW MoonSun with Nato Strap, with the precision of theQuartz movement, a gold-tone stainless steel case with a flame fusion crystal, and 50m water resistant.

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Exhibiting a sporty elegance that’s perfectly attuned to your lifestyle, this new TechnoMarine watch is the embodiment of youthful success, just like Liza Soberano. Because, really, there’s no time to wait in your journey to the top.

TechoMarine can be found in Greenbelt 3, Robinson’s Galleria, Robinson’s Magnolia, Shangri-La Plaza, SM City Cebu, SM Lanang Premier Davao, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, TriNoma, and Uptown Mall.