Singapore-Based TranSwap Launches E-Remittance Services for Foreign Domestic Workers

SINGAPORE 6 May 2020 -TranSwap, a home-grown cross-border payments platform for businesses, today announced that it has launched an e-remittance service, for employers of foreign domestic workers to digitally send money back to their families during Circuit Breaker. The launch comes at a time when it has been challenging for these workers to access remittance services to send money home and support their families. The home-grown FinTech start-up provides services mainly for SMEs and businesses, but they are now stepping up to help those workers who are affected by the circuit breaker measures with their remittance woes.

Employers will be able to transfer money on behalf of their workers in their local currency (mainly Rupiah, Pesos, Kyat, Rupee) seamlessly and conveniently while staying safe at home. It takes less than 5 minutes to send the money, and remittance can be tracked in real-time with end-to-end status updates. This will allow the employers to send the money on behalf of foreign workers upon the worker’s request

The cross-border payments company has also set out to provide Non-Face-To-Face (NFF) Transactions which includes having e-KYC to onboard customers. Unlike traditional remittance agents which rely on face-to-face KYC and compliance, TranSwap boasts an electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC).

By tapping on TranSwap’s remittance service, employers will have the flexibility of choosing between paying to a bank account or to a digital wallet, where the latter option is more commonly used by FDW’s families as some of them may not have bank accounts. The mobile wallet option brings further benefits to FDWs as their families can withdraw cash through ATMs without having a bank account.

Mr Benjamin Wong, CEO and co-founder of TranSwap said, “With the circuit breaker measures in place, we want to contribute to the society by providing our payment solution to affected foreign domestic workers. During these trying times, we are glad to step up to offer a safer, cheaper and more convenient online remittance service. In this way, Foreign Domestic Workers can continue to remit money to their families who may rely on their money.”

Source: Media OutReach

Covid 19 Crisis – Like it or not, Cryptocurrency is Here to Stay

Like our old saying, “When there is recession, there is an opportunity”. In 2008, we faced the world’s worst financial crisis. Lehman brothers’ collapse has shown the world the inherent vulnerabilities of our monetary system. Central banks across the globe were caught off guard. European Central Bank (ECB) hastily made deep cut in the interest rate in the hope to restore investor’s faith. However, market did not recover at the rate as expected since then. Ironically, another historical event happened in the same year – bitcoin.org domain was registered.

Fast forward to today. ECB’s idea of negative interest rate fails miserably, and US Fed follows Japan’s zero interest rate policy will lead to monetary failure in the long term. Investors, flooded with these “free” money, are facing a challenge of finding returns in their investment. As such, they are more willing to take up more risks in exchange for higher returns. Cryptocurrencies, once known to be highly speculatively, starts to re-ignite the interests of investor amid Covid-19 crisis.   

Quick Recap of Bitcoin’s History

Hailed as the “King of Cryptocurrency”, Bitcoin first appeared in investors’ radar in 2013. During that time, almost all markets were trying to recover from the Global Financial Crisis. Investors were extremely cautious not to put money in conventional financial instruments; stocks, bonds and even commodities were not spared as well as they were all interlinked with financial instruments one way or another. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is the only “tradeable asset” that was unlinked to other financial products while at the same, it offers certain degree of liquidity to investors.

That year, Bitcoin was priced at around USD 13. In less than a year, the price had skyrocketed to slightly less than USD1,300 (That’s approx. 100x returns in a year!) That price spike was not sustainable which inevitably, Bitcoin crashed; pricing it at about USD 600 in the same year.

It was a choppy ride for Bitcoin between 2013 to 2017 but it was also a “Golden Era” for Bitcoin. Thousands of new cryptocurrency exchanges were formed. Regulators from all around the world refused to acknowledge Bitcoin as an asset class. However, market will not succumb to regulations; it will just find their ways for survival. Start-ups which struggled to raise fund via conventional means starts to offer their own coins in what they called “Initial Coin Offerings”. At the end of 2017, Bitcoin was priced as high as USD 19,783!

Many crypto investors became millionaires during the Golden Era of Bitcoin. However, the peak was short-lived. By the end of 2018, many cryptocurrency exchanges collapsed, and Bitcoin had crashed to USD 3,300.

Resurgence of Cryptocurrencies during Covid-19 crisis

Over the years, we have heard many criticisms debating the intrinsic value of Bitcoin. I believe most of them are valid but not all of them. At the very least, Bitcoin laid an important pillar for further technology advancement in the area of finance and business – Blockchain technology. A classic example is Ripple (XRP) which made used of this technology to create an architecture that could facilitate faster payment settlement for financial institutions. In Japan, banks are using Ripple protocol to facilitate payment via mobile app.    

Blockchain has created an entirely new market of its own – cryptocurrency and that has completely changed the way how investors look at the economy and after more than 10 years, investors began to accept the fact that Bitcoin is here to stay. For the past 5 years, Bitcoin’s transactions has grown more than double to about 300,000 daily (source: ycharts.com last checked on 26 Apr 2020, link here)

Zhao Changpeng (CZ), CEO of Binance. Source: Binance

However, we do not see sharp price spike of Bitcoin as what it had experienced before in the last decades. One logical explanation is the fact that investors have more options these days.  Over time, the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem has expanded and become more diverse. There are many more cryptocurrencies now. Each is developed to solve a specific problem faced by business. Bitcoin, though it is the largest by market cap, is not longer the only cryptocurrency that investors have eyes on. For instance, Binance, one of the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges, offers its own Binance coin (BNB) that is used as a base currency to buy/sell other cryptocurrencies.  

The development of cryptocurrency exchange played an integral part of the ecosystem. In recent years, the cryptocurrency market has grown tremendously. In 2017, market capitalization was approx. USD 23 Billion which Bitcoin contributed approx. 86% of the market share. As of Apr 2020, the total market capitalization is approx. USD 218 Billion but Bitcoin’s contribution falls to approx. 63%. (Source:  https://coincodex.com/)

Hunger for “Safe Haven” and Returns

Low interest rate environment is pushing investors to the edge. “Risk-free” returns from government bonds are not longer attractive and that have domino’s effects to money market. On the other hand, term deposits in bank is eroding the value of money.  

Investors are forced to take on higher risk. Ironically, investors deemed the more speculative Bitcoin as a “safe haven”  because it is the only “asset” that is unlinked from other markets such as stocks and bonds which are expected to hit badly in the worsening Covid-19 situations.    

Such behaviour exhibited by investors prompted cryptocurrency e-wallet players to provide more “banking” services. The idea of staking requires cryptocurrency holder to deposit their cryptocurrency to their e-wallet accounts. In exchange, holder will receive an interest, generally higher than what conventional banks are offering, which are paid in cryptocurrency into the e-wallet. For instance, Crypto.com is giving up to 18% interest (per annum) if you are staking their CRO coins.

To attract more investors jumping into the cryptocurrency world, cryptocurrency players are releasing “Stablecoins” which are pegged to the fiat currency. The idea is well received by the investors. At the point of writing, the total market capitalization of the Stablecoin has already surpassed USD 7 Billion. (source: https://cryptonews.com/news/billions-in-crypto-dry-powder-on-exchanges-ahead-of-bitcoin-6326.htm)

With no where to put their dollar, investors are using these “crypto-banking services” to battle this low interest rate environment. All investment carry risk and it is all about managing it. The Stablecoin, in one way or another, eliminates volatility and that has been perceived by investors as a “safe haven”.

Central Banks – The Only Reason Why Cryptocurrency Survives

Central bankers are lacking the understanding of the hyper-globalized markets. Lowering interest rate to prevent the economy from falling apart is like giving a cold medicine to a flu patient. It manages some symptoms, but it does not prepare the markets for recovery.

The modern economies are more complex but central bankers are not equipped with the skills and tools to tackle the economic problems. Flooding the market with “free” money is detrimental to entire financial system and investors are losing their faith. Banks are not able to earn enough profit (interests) from their loan business. Consumers are pushed to put money in all type of financial products fearing that their savings might be eroded in future value terms if they just put it with the bank as deposit.

In short, money is devaluing persistently forcing investors to put their dollars on high-risk technology sector to seek for better returns. In fact, it is already happening before cryptocurrency even exists. Tech stocks, which have all-along been speculative in nature, advanced in the last recession. From an investor’s perspective, it was counter-intuitive decision, but the bet was rewarding. In the short 10 years, technology has advanced, and it is the only resource that we could rely on to keep our economy engine moving despite the lockdowns in major cities.

That is the way the global economy is heading – Technology. Like it or not, our financial system will be getting more complex in future (in fact, it is complex enough now) that human central bankers may not be able to tackle multiple economic problems at the same time. To put it objectively, we will not know how financial technology will play out in the future but now, those with money are betting on cryptocurrency.

This article has been reposted @medium https://link.medium.com/QpcvKrMc15

Binance Announcement – Up to 10% Cashback on Crypto Purchases via the “Pay with Bank Card” Service

Source: Binance

Binance will launch a cashback promotion for users to buy cryptocurrency using their Visa debit or credit cards via the “Pay with Bank Card” service on Binance. The promotion will run for 4 days and the rewards will be given out on a first come first served basis. The rewards will reset each day. 

Activity Period: 2020/04/25 8:00 AM to 2020/04/29 8:00 AM (UTC)

Each daily activity period runs for 24 hours from 8:00 AM (UTC) to 8:00 AM (UTC) the next day. Daily reward resets will occur at 7:59:59 AM (UTC) each day.

Activity Rules:

Number of RewardsFirst Daily Purchase Amount (USD Equivalent)Bonus Amount 
30$5,000+500 BUSD
100$1,000 – $4,999100 BUSD
200$500 – $99940 BUSD
1,000$300 – $49920 BUSD

Users are entitled to one bonus amount per day based on their first purchase amount for each daily period.

  • The first 30 users to buy 5,000+ USD in crypto via their Visa debit or credit card as their first transaction each day will receive a reward of 500 BUSD each.
  • The first 100 users to buy between 1,000 USD and 4,999 USD in crypto via their Visa debit or credit card as their first transaction each day will receive a reward of 100 BUSD each.
  • The first 200 users to buy between 500 USD and $999 USD in crypto via their Visa debit or credit card as their first transaction each day will receive a reward of 40 BUSD each.
  • The first 1,000 users to buy between 300 USD and $499 USD in crypto via their Visa debit or credit card as their first transaction each day will receive a reward of 20 BUSD each.

Terms & conditions:

  • Crypto purchases must be made using Visa cards via the “Pay with Bank Card” service, where users need to add their bank card details on Binance. 
  • Accepted fiat currencies include: USD, EUR, GBP, PLN, NOK, DKK, RUB, UAH.
  • Rewards will be determined by each user’s first daily purchase amount and will run on a first come first served basis each day.
  • Rewards will be distributed within a week after the competition ends. You will be able to login and see your rewards via the Distribution History page in the Account Center.
  • Binance reserves the right to cancel or amend any Activity or Activity Rules at our sole discretion.

See Original Post here

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is highly speculative and it is not suitable for investors who are not ready to lose their investment. Investors who don’t have prior knowledge in cryptocurrency investment should speak to their financial advisors before making an investment commitment.

Important Note: Existing cryptocurrency investors who wishes to jump onto Binance platform may wish to consider using my referal https://www.binance.com/en/register?ref=URB5YCE6. I will receive a commission for every trade that my invitee made. However, I have set aside additional 5% commission fee which will be “kicked back” to my invitees (those who have used my referral codes to sign up an account with Binance) to reduce their trading fees. Once you are a Binance user, you could customize referral code to invite your friends like what I am doing now! Happy Trading!

Press Release – New Microsoft 365 Personal and Family Subscriptions now available in Singapore

Source: Microsoft Singapore

[Asia Pacific, Singapore, 22 April 2020] – Microsoft 365 is now available in Singapore. It is a refresh of Office 365, which provides users with new artificial intelligence (AI), rich content and templates, and cloud-powered experiences. 

These experiences are being rolled out regionally and will reach over 38 million Office 365 subscribers globally in the next few months.

“We want to continue to empower everyone to remain connected with those who matter inside and outside of the workplace. The Microsoft 365 Family and Personal subscriptions will provide users with innovative experiences that enable them to co-author, video chat, organize, and come together with friends and their families anytime and anywhere,” said Rami El Bayadi, Regional Director, Microsoft Office Asia. 

Users can look forward to two new Microsoft 365 experiences. Firstly, a new Microsoft Family Safety app designed to keep families safe across the digital and physical worlds. Microsoft will also launch Microsoft Teams later this year for users to stay connected with their family and friends. There will also be new features in Microsoft Teams that make it easier to connect, organize and collaborate with family and friends.

The new Microsoft Edge browser also takes a step forward with new features to protect users on the web with Password Monitor, and to simplify research with Collections.

Other new features available with Microsoft 365 are listed below.

  • AI-Powered Microsoft Editor: To help people put their best foot forward at home and at work, Microsoft Editor – an AI-powered service available in more than 20 languages – is now accessible across Word and Outlook.com, and as a standalone browser extension for Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome. Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscribers have access to advanced grammar and style refinements such as rewrite suggestions and additional style critiques to allow greater clarity and conciseness.
  • Presenter Coach Features in PowerPoint: An AI-powered Presenter that helps correct monotone pitch and refine speeches. This will be available as a free preview, and then eventually only to Microsoft 365 subscribers. 
  • PowerPoint Designer: This feature effectively boosts creativity, such as transforming text into a beautiful timeline, or even auto-generated slide layouts. Microsoft is also providing Microsoft 365 subscribers with exclusive access to over 8,000 beautiful images and 175 looping videos from Getty Images, plus 300 new fonts, 2,800 new icons to create highimpact and visually appealing documents. 
  • New Data Types and Smart Templates in Excel: This presentsa different and less timeconsuming way to interact with data, providing deeper meaning for over 100 topics. Microsoft 365 subscribers have exclusive access to the over 100 new data types powered by Wolfram Alpha. 
  • Organizing Time Across Work and Life with Outlook: New features in Outlook on the web help users manage all commitments, across work and life, in one place. With these new features, they can link their personal calendar to their work calendar to show their real availability, while still maintaining their privacy.
  • Deepen Connections with Family and Friends with Skype and Microsoft Teams:  Skype has seen an increase in usage with 40 million people using it daily, up 70% month over month and, we are seeing a 220% increase in Skype to Skype calling minutes month over month. To help people get connected even faster, Microsoft recently introduced a new feature in Skype called Meet Now, that allows users to easily connect over video (for free) with up to 50 people in just a few clicks.
  • Protecting Families in the Physical and Digital Worlds with Microsoft Family Safety: Coming soon is the Microsoft Family Safety app, a new mobile experience on iOS and Android for Microsoft 365 subscribers. The application empowers families in a variety of ways with both free and premium offerings, including managing screen time across Windows PCs, Android and Xbox. 

The new Office features have been rolled out to all existing Office 365 customers and Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions are now available worldwide. These include premium desktop Office apps, 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage per person, 60 Skype minutes for calling mobile phones and landlines, advanced security features to protect users from malware and phishing attacks, ongoing technical support, plus all the new features and benefits announced today. Microsoft 365 Personal costs $10.80 SGD a month. For the best value, a family of up to six people can use Microsoft 365 Family for $14.80 SGD a month. 

ViewQwest’s WFH solutions help ease congested home networks

ViewQwest has seen 30 per cent increase in Internet traffic over the past few weeks. It has also received (10x) increased number of requests for WFH solutions from enterprises who are currently not equipped to accommodate a full WFH arrangement for their staff due to network challenges and insufficient VPN licenses.

ViewQwest has rolled out solutions to address issues connecting to office networks due to congested Internet connections at home. With majority of the workforce now working from home, the residential network is increasingly getting congested with traffic from enterprise and consumer usage. The increase in the number of devices that need to be connected to the corporate network also contributes to the network congestion at home.

WFH Solution 1: ViewQwest Private Network

ViewQwest’s WFH Private Network, its key WFH solution, allows the office network to be directly connected to homes. Homes that can install fibre broadband mostly have two fibre optic terminal points for the entire household. Typically, only one of the terminal points will be used for the residential broadband service. The ViewQwest Private Network will then be connected to the second, spare terminal point to build a private network which connects to the office network.

The Private Network directly addresses the main issue that businesses currently face when using standard, noncloud based Virtual Private Network (VPN) services – slow network performance especially during peak hours.

VPNs typically tap on the home or public network to run. In addition, many businesses have planned for VPNs to be used mostly by remote staff or staff who occasionally need to work from home. In the current situation where work-from-home is mandated, the Internet connection at home will be strained under the weight of shared home and work usage. 

As the Private Network is directly connected on the second, spare fibre optic terminal point at home, it does not share the same bandwidth with the home network. There will be a dedicated bandwidth from the home to the office network. WFH staff who connect to the Private Network are guaranteed optimal connection between their homes and their office network without the hassle of VPNs.

At the same time, the home network will not be disrupted.

Vignesa Moorthy, CEO of ViewQwest said, “Traditionally, VPN solutions are sized to support only 10 to 20 per cent of the workforce connecting at any point in time. When too many people who are working from home use VPNs, they are bound to face slower network performance as the VPN solution will be operating over its initial capacity. In addition, the home network in which the VPN is operating from will also be congested with enterprise and consumer usage, which slows the network performance further.”

WFH Solution 2: ViewQwest Cloud Virtual Private Network Service (Cloud VPN)

Legacy VPNs are built upon a hardware-based infrastructure. As such, it is subjected to hardware capacity constraints and will not be able to keep up with sudden increase in usage quickly. This results in businesses not being able to upgrade their VPNs to accommodate a larger capacity urgently when needed.

ViewQwest’s Cloud VPN solution addresses this issue directly by having the VPN on a cloud platform. With a cloudbased VPN, businesses can choose to easily scale the VPN to cater to as many staff as required as there is no need for any infrastructure or hardware upgrade to do so.

Cloud VPN will be offered as an on-demand service. ViewQwest can activate the Cloud VPN for enterprises within 24 hours. 

Pricing

The Cloud VPN solution will cost S$5 per user per month while the Private Network solution will be priced according to the requirements of the customer. Enterprises who subscribe to the Private Network solution will also be charged according to Active and Standby periods.

Wirecard and Grab Partners; Aim to Drive Cashless Payment in SEA Region

Wirecard (stock quote: WDI.DE) is entering into a payments partnership with Grab that will see Wirecard process transactions made via the GrabPay e-wallet, starting with the Malaysian, the Philippines and the Singapore markets. Consumers can use their GrabPay e-wallet to pay for transactions online and offline, for example for ridehailing or food delivery, but can also use it to pay for purchases on e-commerce sites or at physical stores.

Through this partnership, Wirecard will process card transactions for GrabPay via its digital financial commerce platform and will extend GrabPay to more merchants to expand the acceptance of the mobile payment method. According to a recent global Wirecard consumer survey, over 90% of consumers in Southeast Asia have used digital payments both in-store and online. Mobile wallets are almost twice as popular in the region as they are worldwide, with 44% regularly choosing them as a payment method compared to the global average of 25%.

“We are proud to partner with Grab, a Southeast Asian icon,” commented Georg von Waldenfels, Executive Vice President Group Business Development at Wirecard. “Together, we aim to continue disrupting the payment, tech and mobility industries with innovative solutions that can improve the lives of millions.”

Reuben Lai, Senior Managing Director of Grab Financial Group, said, “We are thrilled to partner with Wirecard as we progress on our journey of building a cashless economy for millions of businesses across Southeast Asia. Wirecard’s innovative mobile payments solutions will not only complement our GrabPay e-wallet platform, but also offer businesses and consumers the opportunity to transact with greater security, convenience and flexibility.” The GrabPay e-wallet is one of the most popular e-wallets in Southeast Asia accepted by over 600,000 merchants and small businesses.

Singapore-based Digital Wealth Manager – Syfe launches REIT+ portfolio to Retail Investors

Syfe’s latest portfolio combines SGX-listed REITs and Singapore Government Bonds to create a risk-managed solution

SINGAPORE – 3 February 2020 – Digital wealth manager, Syfe, today launched the REIT+ portfolio, a first-of-its-kind initiative that allows anyone in Singapore to start risk-managed investing in Singapore real estate with no minimum investment.

Unlike buying a property or REITs as a private investor, Syfe’s REIT+ product offers an easy, risk-managed and low-cost way for investors to access Singapore’s thriving REIT market with a fee as low as 0.4% per annum of your invested capital.

REIT+ consists of 15 high-quality SGX-listed REITs (S-REITs) that span retail, industrial, office, and hospitality amongst other sectors. To protect REIT+ portfolios, Syfe’s Automated Risk-Managed Investing (ARI) will manage risk by balancing portfolios of S-REITs with Singapore government bonds.

Through backtesting, a process that tests algorithms by running them through historical data, the REIT+ portfolio on average has yielded a return of 9.0% over the last five years. The portfolio also pays a dividend, which in 2019, was 4.6%, and can be automatically reinvested or paid-out at regular intervals offering investors a great source of passive income.

In recent years, REITs have proven to be a great investment option because it allows Singaporeans an easy way to become real estate owners, without dealing with the day-to-day worries of being a landlord. By investing in an REIT, you’re investing in properties managed by that REIT and you’re eligible to earn dividends on the rental income earned by those properties.

Dhruv Arora, Founder and CEO of Syfe said: “The launch of the REIT+ offering represents another strong step forward in our journey to making quality investment solutions accessible to all. In addition to our flagship Automated Risk-Managed Investing (ARI) global portfolio, we now offer investors an easy way to enter Singapore’s exciting and rewarding REIT landscape.”

“At Syfe, we’re constantly pushing the boundaries of financial innovation, and we’ll continue to do so to meet the investment needs of investors in Singapore,” added Mr. Arora.

REIT+ is Syfe’s latest addition to the platform, following the launch of a Financial Advisor team, which allows customers to secure consultation sessions with wealth management specialists, providing high quality financial advice.


About Syfe

Syfe is a digital wealth manager offering professionally managed portfolios to everyone, which have previously only been accessible to institutional investors or high-net-worth individuals, driving innovation and democratising investment. Syfe’s proprietary algorithm, developed in-house with state of the art technology and proven investment models, build personalised portfolios for each customer and continuously monitors and adjusts each portfolio to maximise returns and manage risk.

Source: Media Outreach

Singapore-Based Startup, iTask Lists “Renting-a-Friend” During the Festive Season in The Top 10 Freelance Jobs in Singapore

SINGAPORE 16 December 2019 -Singapore based technology start-up iTask releases their findings with compilation of a list of top 10 freelance jobs only found in Singapore during the festive season.

To our surprise, renting-a-friend ranks number 9 in Singapore’s top freelance jobs. This market seem to grow acceptance in Singapore society. Fee could go as low as SGD 20 per hour.

iTask is an on-demand talents service marketplace mobile app platform creates the opportunity to improve the community’s living quality.

Here are the top ten unusual freelance jobs that arose from the hype of these two festive seasons:

#1 Spring Cleaning Helpers

Everyone expects their homes to look smack and clean during the festive season, however, not many bears the desire or motivation to perform the task of spring cleaning. A simple solution would be to engage the services of freelance cleaning professionals to do the job with no worries about cleaning up the mess after wild Christmas-eve parties, or fears of homes being not presentable enough for relatives and friends. The professional cleaning aunties and uncles will handle the task easily and prices start from $55 for a three-hour general cleaning service.

#2 Gift and Hamper Wrappers

Wish to wrap an impressive Christmas gift or a Chinese New Year hamper for business clients and associates but lack the proper gift-wrapping skills? Lack the time to buy gifts? An alternative would be to outsource these tasks to a freelancer and let them work their magic. Prices start from $8 per task.

#3 Courier Services

Gifts and hampers wrapped but do not have the time to deliver these personally? Just engage the assistance of a personalised courier service provider. Do note that such services are high in demand during the festive season; hence, try to book the services in advance. Prices start from $5 per item-basis task.

#4 Tuition and Enrichment Activities

The holiday season may not be a relaxing period for children with ‘tiger’ parents who have high hopes and expectation. While some parents may bring their kids out on recreational trips, some parents may wish to send the kids for extra tuition and enrichment classes. This is true kiasu-ism in the workings! Hence, during the holiday season, the demand is high for freelance tuition professionals and enrichment teachers such as a piano teacher. Prices start from $10 per lesson.

#5 Pet Sitting Services

Planning an overseas Christmas holiday or an ‘escapade’ from giving out too many hongbaos during Chinese New Year and need somebody to take care of the furry friends while away? Consider freelance pet sitting services where pet-sitters drop by to feed your paw buddies or take them out for a walk. Rates start from $10.

#6 Buying Groceries From Johor Bahru

Planning to stock up the low-cost groceries from JB for the upcoming Chinese New Year? Engage a freelancer to buy groceries from our neighboring city, for a small fee. Services like these allows for cheaper purchases minus the hassle of queueing at the customs. Prices start from $10 per task.

#7 Bakkwa Buyer

This is another hot-on-the-list request for freelance service providers in recent years. Not wanting to join the queue from a prestigious brand but as a bakkwa connoisseur who cannot survive a CNY season without bakkwa? Engage an errand provider who will queue many hours to buy the best bakkwa for your behalf! Prices start from $10 per errand.

#8 Picnic Set-ups

Wish to have something special for your Christmas party, New Year countdown or even Valentine’s Day? A pretty picnic set-up will definitely pump up the festive mood. There’s never a limit to how you can celebrate any occasions over picnic! Different packages and themes for you to choose from. What you need to do is just dress things up all nice and pretty for an Instagram-worthy-photos. Let the memories stay. Don’t be surprised if you get more likes for your FB & IG than your friends have. Packages start from $130.

#9 OMG… Rent a Friend / Date

No joke! This is also in the list! For all the ‘self-partnered’ people (thanks to Emma Watson for coining this term.) out there, there is an opportunity to rent a friend for the next Christmas or Chinese New Year gathering. Fees for renting a friend starts at $20 per hour. [minus any illegal and naughty stuff]

#10 Mental Supporter or Someone To Share Deepest Secrets With

The festive season are definitely a stressful period, either due to preparations and the mad rush of getting things done on time. Many seek a mental supporter or a companion to share with their worries and secrets with. Either a face-to-face session or via a personal listening service. Rates start from $10 per hour.

So here are the top ten unbelievable freelance jobs ONLY found in Singapore!

Source: Media OutReach 

Garmin Pay Can Be Used to Pay Public Transport. Finally…

Garmin users in Singapore can now pay for bus and train rides using Garmin Pay, a contactless payment solution designed for people who are always on the move.
 
As part of a partnership with OCBC Bank, Garmin users can link their OCBC MasterCard® or Visa® credit or debit cards to their Garmin Pay Wallet in their compatible smartwatches and tap the fare gantries or card readers to pay for their transport or make purchases with a turn of their wrist.

Picture: Garmin Venu Smartwatch

Part of Land Transport Authority’s SimplyGo initiatives, commuters can use their contactless bank cards such as VISA an MasterCard or NFC-enabled smartphones to pay for their bus and train rides removing the need to carry additional cards.

The move to expand contactless payment footprints has been encouraging. Since April 2019, more than 250,000 commuters have signed up for a TransitLink SimplyGo account with a registered bank card. The SimplyGo account allows commuters to view their trip history and receive notifications of their fares on the go.

The contactless payment isn’t just limited to mobile phones. In May 2019, wearable company Fitbit announced that Fitbit Pay can be used to pay on public transport.

It is encouraging to see more technology companies are jumping into payment solutions. I think the era of cashless society is coming quicker than I thought.

Singapore-based Acronis Acquired Microsoft Cloud Solution Partner – 5Nine.

Today, Acronis, a cloud-based data backup and recovery service provider, announces the acquisition of 5nine, a global provider of Microsoft Hyper-V and Azure cloud management and security solutions. As part of the agreement, 5nine will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Acronis.

5nine offers end-to-end cloud solutions for Hyper-V and the first and only agentless, multilayered security solution for Hyper-V and Azure. Its innovative, powerful, and easy-to-use software is designed to reduce costs, increase productivity, and mitigate security risks.

Acronis will integrate 5nine’s technology into the Acronis Cyber Platform, making new services available through the Acronis Cyber Cloud Solutions portal. 5nine’s solutions will enable managed service providers (MSPs) and IT organizations to simplify cloud service orchestration, create new business, and manage their customers’ needs.

Together with 5nine, Acronis will offer customers and partners an easier way to migrate workloads from their physical or virtual infrastructure to Acronis Cyber Infrastructure, Microsoft Azure or both. 5nine’s ability to unify cloud migration, management, monitoring, and innovative workload management tools and processes enables customers to cover the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection – ensuring the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) of all data, applications, and systems.

“By combining with Acronis, we will be able to accelerate product innovation, expand our distribution channel, and leverage our existing technology to meet customer requirements,” said Karen Armor, Chief Executive Officer at 5nine. “With the knowledge gained from almost a decade of experience managing and protecting Microsoft virtual machines on behalf of our customers, we are certain that this acquisition will drive cloud adoption and ensure secure and reliable cloud infrastructure deployments worldwide.”

Acronis sees the value in offering 5nine’s services to its community of 50,000 partners in the IT channel, enabling MSPs and cloud service providers to better manage their hybrid infrastructure workloads. Acronis’ ability to meet infrastructure deployment requirements by location, budget, and use case provides them with the ultimate in control and flexibility to deliver cyber protection with Acronis Cyber Infrastructure, Microsoft Azure, and more

“By adding 5nine’s solutions to our portfolio of cyber protection products and services, we’re giving our partners and customers an easy way to adopt the Microsoft hybrid cloud platform. With a combined solution, organizations will be able to migrate all or select workloads to the cloud and then manage both on-premises and cloud virtual machines with a single interface. We envision combining the functionality of the two solutions by extending Acronis’ easy-to-use, single pane of glass, resulting in IT administrators monitoring, managing and ensuring cyber protection for all workloads, regardless of their location,” said Serguei “SB” Beloussov, Acronis Founder and CEO.