TaPay: Yet Another QR E-Wallet Service Enters The Market

Ready or not, QR-based payment system could very be the next big thing in our market next year. So many companies have begun to announce their own take on the QR payment solution as of late including TaPay which was launched in Cyberjaya earlier this week.
In cooperation with Cyberview and Affin Bank, TaPay was developed by Fullrich Malaysia which is a fintech company that is the result of the joint venture between Barrington Group and Beijing Fullrich Information Technology. These two companies are also working together with Cyberview to establish a regional fintech hub which is one of 11 major projects that are aimed to help transform Cyberjaya into a smart city.

Just like many solutions out there, TaPay can be used for payments at merchants that support it and fund transfer between users. At the same time, TaPay also features loyalty card storage as well as support for cashbacks and coupons.
However, TaPay is still under trial at the moment and still in the process of obtaining approval from Bank Negara Malaysia. Despite that, certain businesses and retailers already starting support it according to its official website.

Among them are OldTown White Coffee and Padi House in Cyberjaya together with online fashion store Picksum and storage service provider Myrelo. The site has also listed several food trucks such as Pilot Café, The Kopiboy, Haengbok Kitchen, First Order and Dapoq Metal.
(Source: TaPay – 1, 2 // The Sun // Berita Harian)
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Razer Plugs Into The Networking Market With Portal

Razer has announced a partnership with Ignition Design Labs to release a Wi-Fi router designed specifically for gamers. Equipped with 802.11ac on board, the Portal by Razer router promises speedy Gigabit connectivity to games on any platform.
At the same time, the router also features the ZeroWait ZWDFS technology for lag-free gaming and streaming even then multiple users are connected to the router. It is also equipped with 9 internal antenna that apparently helps Portal deliver 3,000 square feet of stable connectivity.

Portal also comes with a feature called Mesh 2.0, where two routers can literally mesh their network together seamlessly to expand coverage at up to 6,000 square feet, and throughput stability. For additional security, the admin panel for Portal can only be accessed from smartphones that have been paired with the router via Bluetooth.
At the moment, Portal is only available in United States and carries a price tag of US$ 149.99 (about RM 612). The rest of the world will only be able to received it in the first quarter of 2018.
(Source: Razer)

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Huawei P11 May Feature A Notch, Like The iPhone X

Thanks to a leak by XDA Developers, yet another set of clues regarding Huawei’s upcoming flagship have appear online after a recent leak state that the phone might carry three cameras on its back. This time around, they revealed that the Huawei P11 may feature a true edge-to-edge display, complete with a notch for sensors and the selfie camera.
According to XDA, the reference to the notch was found in a beta firmware that lists down several new features and attributes that were never in place in previous models. For one, it references an overlay for the system to take count on while rendering items on screen. The overlay is a system-level instruction, thus Huawei may be in the first stages of testing how a notch will look on a new version of EMUI.
iPhone X.
The screen is also set to feature curved corners which is rather interesting since Huawei’s current crop of smartphones do not feature curved corners, only edges. The screen will also be a Full HD+ (1080p) instead of anything higher according to early specifications listed on the firmware itself.
As these are still early unsubstantiated news, do take it with a grain of salt. We may see the new model during the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018, so stay tuned for more updates on Huawei’s flagship in the near future.
(Source: XDA Developers)
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Lazada to Introduce New AI-Driven App; Plans Hema-Style Stores For 2018

Lazada is gearing up for an even stronger showing in 2018, as it expects greater growth in the e-commerce industry in Malaysia next year. It has predicted an increase of 2 million new online shopping customers, as well as a 30% increase in frequency of online shopping among Malaysians in 2018.
To drive this predictions into reality, the company is doubling down on new technologies and adapt innovative ideas from its parent company, Alibaba. Lazada Malaysia CEO, Hans-Peter Ressel, revealed that the company is working on a brand new Lazada app, driven by artificial intelligence (AI).
Not much was revealed at yesterday’s panel discussion organised by Lazada on 2018’s online e-commerce trends, but the company expects to reveal the new app by the end of the year. According to Ressel, the new app has been revamped to provide a highly personalised browsing experience for each individual user. There will be less emphasis on product categories, and instead the app’s machine-learning algorithms will show off more products that the individual is interested in based on purchase and viewing history.
And because there are machine learning models at work, the app will get better over time at showing the platform’s 100 million items available for sale. Other factors such as seasonal celebrations and events may also be part of the algorithm – but of course, Ressel did not elaborate more on this end.

On a separate note, Lazada Malaysia is also looking to its parent company, Alibaba, to introduce new innovations and improve the online shopping experience in Malaysia. One area the company is looking to introduce is improvements in the online-to-offline (O2O) experience. Currently, Lazada already offers services such as payment options in 7-eleven outlets and parcel drop-off and pick-up services with a number of partners. It is now looking at another interesting feature, where customers can view items in a physical store and buying them online.
This feature is partly inspired by Alibaba’s Hema stores in China, where customers can walk in and browse for groceries in store, pay with a digital wallet, and have the groceries delivered to their homes within 30 minutes. For Lazada Malaysia, the approach is slightly different: instead of groceries, the company is looking at products that customers prefer to physically view before buying.
For example, audio-visual products like TVs and speakers are highly subjective, given the different consumer preferences. Many consumers still purchase these items in store after viewing them physically, but there are also others who view them physically first – and then buy them online.

This is the part where Lazada wants to eliminate. The company is in talks with a number of merchants to allow offline customers to purchase the product online and have it delivered to their homes. This actually has a few benefits for the customer as well as the merchant. The customer does not have to carry a huge amount of cash when buying the item, and does not have to transport a potentially large and fragile product home. For the merchant, stocks do not need to be stored in the retail outlet, allowing for a centralised distribution centre directly from the warehouse. This saves costs, as well as providing additional space at the retail outlet.
To start off, Lazada has identified products which customers prefer to view physically before making a purchasing decision. From there, the company approached several merchants to discuss this new venture – nobody has yet done this in Malaysia, but with the scale and resources available to it, Lazada definitely could make this happen. The company, naturally, did not reveal which merchants it is currently discussing with.
These are just two of many more initiatives Lazada Malaysia is working on as it looks to further cement its place as the top e-commerce platform in the country. It is also working closely with partners such as Pos Malaysia, SME Corp, and a variety of major brands and distributors to spearhead the e-commerce development in Malaysia.
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Xiaomi Redmi 5A Lands in Malaysia for RM399

At the grand opening of its latest Authorised Mi Store in IOI City Mall, Putrajaya, Xiaomi just launched yet another budget-friendly smartphone on our shores: the Xiaomi Redmi 5A. Retailing at only RM399, those who are looking for an affordable phone have another option now.
As it is meant to be an entry-level smartphone, the Redmi 5A’s list of hardware are decidedly on the lower-end side of things, but it certainly offers good value for money nonetheless. In comparison to its predecessor, the Redmi 5A features pretty similar hardware too.
Both The Redmi 5A and 4A feature Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 processors paired with 2GB of RAM, 16GB of expandable storage, and 5-inch 720p IPS displays. In fact, the Redmi 4A actually has a bigger 3,120mAh battery; the 5A comes with a slightly smaller 3,000mAh battery.

So what differentiates the two smartphones? Their cameras. While both phones come with 13MP rear and 5MP front-facing cameras, the Redmi 5A’s rear camera has phase detection autofocus. The 5A’s selfie camera also features bigger f/2.0 aperture in comparison to the 4A’s f/2.2 aperture.
The Xiaomi Redmi 5A will be available for purchase in Malaysia exclusively on Lazada from 12 December onwards. Priced at only RM399, the Redmi 5A is actually more affordable than its predecessor – the 4A used to go for RM449 at launch.
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Lazada Is Now An Authorised Apple Reseller

Lazada is now an authorised Apple reseller for the Southeast Asian region, making it the only e-commerce platform in the region to offer the full range of Apple products sourced directly from Apple.
Most of our readers will already know that Lazada has been selling Apple products with local warranties for some time now. But starting 11 December 2017, Lazada will have its own Apple Store within the platform, allowing it to sell the entire range of products from iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, as well as official accessories including Beats headphones and also a host of original Apple covers and cases.
More importantly, buying from the Apple store within Lazada guarantees that the items are 100% original units, backed by local warranties. Customers will also be able to leverage on Lazada features such as hassle-free returns, installment plans, and of course, voucher codes to further reduce the purchase price.

The store opening will also take place just before the finale of Lazada’s month-long Online Revolution event on 12 December, which means customers can look forward to attractive offers for Apple products across the board.
While the official store will only be available on 11 December, you can already take a look at the full catalogue of items available. The items are all listed, but are not yet open for sale. On top of that, it looks like Lazada will also offer bundle deals exclusive to the store, including the iPhone X and MacBook.
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Bank Negara To Waive Instant Transfer Fee For Amounts Less Than RM5,000 From July 2018

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) wants to push Malaysians towards electronic banking, and e-payments in general, by waiving the instant transfer fee for online transactions. It is also taking steps to resolve the fragmented QR code payment market by introducing an Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF).
Online instant transfers of less than RM5,000 will see the 50 sen fee removed from 1 July 2018, making the option more attractive for individuals and SMEs. This fee removal does not apply to large businesses. This is to encourage locals to turn to online banking, and reduce the reliance on cheques.
Waiving the fee is only the first step in BNM’s three year plan to support businesses and individuals. The e-Payment Incentive Fund (ePIF) is also being expanded to RM198 million in a bid to help merchants migrate to e-payments.

Also more importantly, the ICTF is being set up to streamline the numerous QR code based digital wallets that have appeared in the last year. This framework would connect both banks and non-bank e-money issuers to transfer funds across each other. Essentially allowing making QR codes displayed for payments platform agnostic.
“To encourage QR code payment, avoid market fragmentation and broaden financial inclusion, Bank Negara Malaysia has issued an Interoperable Credit Transfer Framework (ICTF) for consultation. The ICTF aims to connect both banks and eligible non-bank e-money issuers to ensure reachability of bank accounts and e-money accounts,” said BNM governor Muhammad bin Ibrahim.
PayNet, the combined form of MEPS and MyClear, will be in charge of the framework; allowing the digital wallet providers to focus on competing for customers on the basis of “value-added services rather than on the basis of infrastructure.” A move that should alleviate the problem of having so many digital wallets appear within the last three months.
[Source: BNM]
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This is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds New Miramar Desert Map; Out of Early Access 20 December

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds really is one of the most successful games released this year, and not too long ago, PUBG Corp – the new company in charge of the game – revealed the name of its new desert map, Miramar. Now, we have our first real look at the new environment.
Miramar will be available to all players on 20 December, but for those who can’t wait, it will go live on PUBG’s test server later today. Aside from that, the game’s 1.0 update will also roll out on 20 December, effectively bringing the game out of its early access status. It’s really quite an important update too: it introduces a slew of performance improvements along with the highly anticipated vaulting mechanic.
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Apple Unveils its 2017 Best of App Store, iTunes and Apple Music in Southeast Asia

Apple has unveiled its best of 2017 for Southeast Asia, highlighting the best of App Store, iTunes, and Apple Music. It shows the top trends, most popular apps and games, top movies and TV shows, and most listened to music and artists for the year 2017.
According to Apple, the top trends of the year 2017 are:

Augmented reality: AR has change the way people interact with the world around us y blending digital objects into the real world through our mobile phones. There are plenty of apps and games leveraging on this technology such as Pokemon Go, AR Dragon, Holo, Player Piano 3D, and even books such as My Very Hungry Caterpillar that brings the classic children’s book character to life.
Competitive gaming: In 2017, Apple saw a rise in users interested in real-time competitive gaming. Popular competitive games include golden oldies like Clash Royale and Hearthstone, and even new ones like Modern Combat Versus, and more.
Gamifying fitness: One of the best way to start exercising and keeping to the routine is to gamify it. Some of the best apps include Standland, Zombies, Run!, Wokamon – Fitness Game, 7 Minute Superhero Workout and more.
Facial transformation: This is no surprise; one of the top trends in 2017 would definitely have to be facial transformation apps. Photo editing apps such as B612, BeautyPlus, FaceApp, Facetune 2, MSQRD, and more allowed people not only to digitally enhance their pictures, they also allowed users to add in real-time masks and filters.

As for the top apps and games of the year, these are the results:

2017 iPhone App of the Year: Enlight Videoleap2017 iPhone Game of the Year: Splitter Critters2017 iPad App of the Year: Affinity Photo2017 iPad Game of the Year: Old Man’s Journey

On Apple Music, the top song of 2017 is Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”. The artist also wins the top album of the year with ÷. Bruno Mars comes in on a close second on the album chart with “24K Magic”. K-pop artists BigBang and G Dragon also made it to the top charts.
The top charts on iTunes featured powerful female protagonists who inspire such as “Moana”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” and “Wonder Woman” all within the top five. Other notable mentions include “Harry Potter Complete Collection”, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, as well as family-friendly musicals like “Sing” and “Trolls”.
Image credit: Teresa Lim of @teeteeheehee. Illustrated on #iPadPro and #ApplePencil with Tayasui Sketches Pro
Here are the top charts for Southeast Asia:
Free iPhone Apps:

Grab – Ride Hailing App
WhatsApp Messenger
YouTube: Watch Listen Stream
oBike – Bike Sharing
Google Maps – GPS Navigation
Gmail – Email by Google
Spotify Music
Google Chrome
My Singtel app
foodpanda – Food Delivery
UberEATS: Food Delivery
Google Translate
Healthy 365

Paid iPhone Apps

Gudak Cam
Scanner for Me + OCR
Forest by Seekrtech
Tabs & Chords – learn and play
Analog Paris
Plotagraph+ Photo Animator
The Wonder Weeks
ProCam 5
Slow Shutter Cam
Halide – RAW Manual Camera
Pixomatic photo editor
Fontmania – Add Artworks & Text to Your Photos!

Free iPhone Games

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Super Mario Run
Fight List – Categories Game
Coin Master
Word Cookies!
Candy Crush Saga
8 Ball Pool™
Clash Royale
Episode – Choose Your Story
Pokémon GO
Lords Mobile
Piano Tiles 2™
Subway Surfers
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Roll the Ball® – slide puzzle
Toy Blast
Choices: Stories You Play
Clash of Clans
Cookie Run: OvenBreak
Critical Ops

Paid iPhone Games

Football Manager Mobile 2017
Monopoly Game
Monument Valley 2
Plague Inc.
Assassin’s Creed Identity
Hitman Sniper
Mini Metro
Heads Up!
Exploding Kittens® – The Official Game
Bully: Anniversary Edition
NBA 2K18
Street Fighter IV CE
Monument Valley
F1 2016
Iron Marines
Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition
Geometry Dash

Free iPad Apps

YouTube: Watch Listen Stream
Messenger for WhatsApp – App for iPad
Google Chrome
The Calculator
Gmail – Email by Google
YouTube Kids
Viu HD
Microsoft Word
Google Maps – GPS Navigation
Microsoft Excel
Google Drive
Spotify Music
Skype for iPad
Microsoft PowerPoint
Messenger for WhatsApp – iPad Chat Version

Paid iPad Apps

Duet Display
GoodNotes 4
GoodReader – PDF Reader Annotator and File Manager
MyScript Nebo
WinZip Pro – The Leading Zip Unzip & RAR Tool
Affinity Photo
PDF Expert by Readdle
Book Creator for iPad
Messenger for WhatsApp PRO
Notepad+ Pro
Explain Everything™ Classic
Green Screen by Do Ink
Scanner for Me + OCR
PAW Patrol – Rescue Run HD
Toca Life: Hospital

Free iPad Games

Super Mario Run
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang
Clash Royale
Word Cookies!
Coin Master
Subway Surfers
Roll the Ball® – slide puzzle
Piano Tiles 2™
Candy Crush Saga
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Lords Mobile
Cooking Fever
War Robots
Pokémon GO
Minion Rush
Plants vs. Zombies™ 2
Clash of Clans
Block! Hexa Puzzle

Paid iPad Games

Monument Valley 2
Football Manager Mobile 2017
Geometry Dash
Assassin’s Creed Identity
Football Manager Touch 2017
Scribblenauts Unlimited
Monument Valley
Iron Marines
Mini Metro
Plague Inc.
Bloons TD 5 HD
F1 2016
Teeny Titans – Teen Titans Go! Figure Battles
LEGO® Jurassic World™
RollerCoaster Tycoon® Classic
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location
Draw a Stickman: EPIC 2

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Soulcalibur VI Announced At The Game Awards 2017

Soulcalibur VI has been announced in a surprise move from Bandai-Namco. There’s little information beyond a single teaser trailer, although we do know that the game will at least be headed to PC for the first time.
The game is set for a release in 2018, and will be headed to PlayStation, PC (through Steam), and Xbox One. Curiously, there is no mention of the Nintendo Switch this time around. Although, we’re quite sure a port will be made available somewhere down the road.
There seems to be a sort of renaissance of long forgotten franchises this year, with both Mario and Sonic receiving positive reviews for their games. Whether Soulcalibur and Mega Man can follow in their footsteps next year remains to be seen; but it’s good to see that these games aren’t abandoned.

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