Avex to launch payment app for smartphones
Japan’s music company Avex Inc plans to launch a smartphone-based payment app as early as this summer, giving users points they can exchange for exclusive goods or concert tickets.
The new service is aimed at fostering closer ties with music fans, and Avex will call on other music firms to join in. Avex’s app is called “entame (entertainment) wallet.” The company will award points based on how much digital cash, called “entame coin,” that users spend at shops or online.
It will also reward people who view footage of their favourite artists or share articles on social networking services. The company plans to allow users to exchange their points for exclusive products or to obtain tickets to music concerts and special events.
Avex is aiming to see payments totalling about Y450 billion ($4 billion, Bt126 bIllIon) in 2022.
By giving points, Avex seeks to analyse what fans do and what they’re interested in, so as to expand their business outside selling music. According to sources, Avex will invite other parties, such as music companies and entertainment agencies, to participate in the project. The sources said Avex will not use the customer data exclusively, but will provide it to each partner company.
The project is partly spurred by the sense of crisis in the music industry over the rise of music streaming services. IT giants such as Apple, Amazon and Google offer monthly music subscription services, which have become so popular that domestic sales of music CDs are on a downward trend.
In general, when users listen to music or watch video with a music streaming service, a fee is paid to a music company. The customer data it can obtain, however, is limited to age and gender, which prevents the company from enhancing its marketing based on customer preferences.
“Record companies need to transform their business from selling songs and CDs to offering comprehensive services including managing live performances, selling goods and coordinating events,” a music industry expert at Okasan Securities said. – The Japan News
Capital for microloan app to serve the underserved
Cambodia-based digital microfinance start-up Digicro Pte Ltd has raised $300,000 (Bt9.4 million) in seed capital from the Tokyo-based Showcase Capital Co Ltd to help it develop their microloan service mobile application, according to the firm.
The microloan service, provided through the mobile application Spean Loan, is developed by Spean Luy Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Digicro. The firm was founded by Yuta Nagano last year, which also runs a financial comparison site Spean Luy allowing users to compare interest rates offered on loan products by local lenders.
Nagano said more than 60 per cent of Cambodians have access to Internet but many of them still cannot get a loan because they lack official documents or collateral, or they live in a remote area where banks don’t operate.
“Our team developed Spean Loan to serve those underserved through our app. The instant approval will help micro entrepreneurs get their daily working capital and people who need emergency funds,” he said.
The app will enable borrowers to apply for small loans ranging from $50 up to $1,000 without paperwork or an office visit. Spean Loan uses machine learning to build a credit scoring system and evaluate a client’s ability to repay.
Despite getting $300,000 in seed capital from Showcase Capital, the start-up is awaiting regulatory approval before launching the app.
Financial technology (fintech) start-ups are still at a nascent stage in Cambodia.
The first fintech organisation in the country, the Cambodia Fintech Association, was established in August last year in anticipation of a boom in phone-based monetary services.
Cambodian fintech start-up Clik announced in November that it has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Limestone Technology and OpenWay, along with several angel investors from the Kingdom’s retail sector.
The company expects to launch operations in the second quarter of this year as soon as it receives a Payment Service Provider licence from NBC. – The Phnom Penh Post