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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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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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