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SA’s Vizibiliti conquers US

A South African app was selected recently for showcasing at one of the largest technology conferences in the world.

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Viva Tech attracts more than 66 000 people and over 200 speakers, including the CEOs of Facebook, Microsoft, IBM, and Uber, along with brands like LMVH, Verizon, and SoftBank.

Verizon selected Vizibiliti Insight as the overall winner of the Customer Experience Transformation through Digital challenge, after it had been shortlisted from 110 entries in the alternative credit scoring category.

“This is a significant milestone for us and a huge honour to have been selected out of a pool of such strong competitors, many of whom have received millions of dollars in funding,” said Courtney Bentley, CEO of Vizibiliti Insight.

Aside from winning a presentation slot at Viva Tech 2018, Vizibiliti Insight was also invited to Verizon’s New York office to collaborate with some of the top minds in the telecommunications world. Part of the first prize award was 5 000 Euros and membership credits to Verizon’s Innovation Garage offices located across the United States, in effect allowing them to open an office in New York.

Vizibiliti Insight’s alternative scoring solution enables any credit provider to provide credit safely for difficult-to-analyse customers who otherwise would be turned down for credit. Vizibiliti is also working on specialised credit scoring solutions for South African entrepreneurs often considered too high-risk for banks and other credit providers to lend to.

The aim is to support credit worthiness applications for these businesses and individuals who, although contributing to over 40% of South Africa’s GDP, would be declined without further consideration.

Asked what has differentiated it from competitors in the challenge, Bentley pointed out that its models incorporate traditional scorecards, which remain the current de facto standard. 

“This is significant because we can align the alternative credit scoring models with traditional scorecards which have a proven accuracy rate.  This further allows granular customer segmentation and predictive capabilities in predicting which applications have a high likelihood of converting to a loan being accepted with a low likelihood of default.”

But it goes further, venturing into non-traditional measures.

“We are able to incorporate transactional behaviour which would be all the financial information collected on customers. This would be everything from data usage, SIM card age, location, and demographic data, to spending patterns . We then factor in macro and micro variables impacting affordability and, finally, behavioural data which we collect, analyse and add into this model.”

So far, he says, the system has achieved an 89% accuracy rate of detecting high-risk in customers using Vizibiliti’s own proprietary scorecard. 

“The next unique factor is our ability to determine upsell and cross-sell opportunities, which in turn lead to more sales and overall growth for the enterprise. Not only do we alternatively score an individual or business but we can then predict which non-traditional customer segments are likely to accept and pay back products and services which have been recommended.”

Bentley says the American judges had a scorecard of criteria which included how scalable the business is, whether the solution can be fully customised to the US market, whether the business model is sustainable over the long-term, and whether the solution supports digital authentication. 

“I believe that our capabilities to create a fully customised bespoke solution with a cross and up-sell sales capability and being able to rapidly scale, not only in the US but globally, were key factors in our success.”

 Alternative scoring, says Bentley, is important because “many of the companies we have come across have an average decline rate of 40% sometimes more on credit submissions”. 

“We have done a lot with very little compared to our competitors who have millions of dollars in funding. We have heard that these international companies are interested to see what can be done on their own turf with a company that can deliver value quickly, with innovative ways of keeping costs to a minimum.”

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Happy Emoji Day! Here’s 10 reasons to be cheerful

First created by Shigetaka Kurita in 1999, the emoji has become a huge part of everyday communication. Whether you love them or hate them, flying dollar bills, applauding hands and rolling eyes are here to stay.

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Scientist suggest that the use of emojis will help us gain the same satisfaction from digital interactions as we enjoy from personal contact.

Almost two decades later, and we have over 2600 unique emojis to perfectly express what we feel, thank you Mr Kurita! Join HMD, the home of Nokia phones as we celebrate World Emoji Day on the 17th of July with these interesting emoji facts:

The most popular emoji used is “Person Shrugging”

1.       The Nokia 3310 was chosen as one of the first 3 “National” emojis for Finland… it represents unbreakable!

2.       South Africa’s favourite emoji is the “Kiss and wink”… how sweet SA!

3.       French is the only language where a ‘smiley’ does not top the list for its use

4.       On average, over 60 billion emojis are sent on Facebook every day

5.       For the first time ever, the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year was a pictograph! The “Face with Tears of Joy” was crowned word of the year in 2015

6.       According to Emojipedia, some of the most requested emoji’s include afro, a bagel and hands making a heart

7.       To include all races, a diversity pack was released in 2017

8.       It has become so trendy that the Museum of Modern Art displays the original emoji collection on canvas

9.       In 2009, Herman Melville’s classic Moby Dick was completely translated into emoji’s

 

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