Business and Technology News from NUS

Month: August 2019

Travel Technology Is Revolutionising the Way We Travel


Travel is an innovation the world has fallen in love with, and it is not at all difficult to understand why. There is a sense of freedom that comes with travelling the world, and it cannot be denied. Now, in the wake of digitalisation and technological advancement, the way that we travel (much like the rest of the modern world we have come to know and love) has begun to fundamentally evolve, from the inside out. Travel technology is as common today as the technology that powers our mobile phones and the internet in our homes and public spaces. It powers practically every aspect of travel these days, and is becoming more and more instrumental in how we travel.

The convenience of organising travel documents online

Whether you are applying for a Singapore Tourist Visa, booking flights or accommodation, or organising travel insurance, you can do it all online with the countless websites and even apps that allow you to do so. While it is important to ensure that you are trusting the processes to credible companies when you organise travel documents online, for the most part, it is a safe and secure way to organise your travels easily. All it demands of you is a little practice in common sense, and a willingness to dive into the processes of it all.

The efficiency of keeping connected, even when out of reach

Whether it is satellite phones that allow connection from anywhere, portable chargers, tile trackers, or even portable Wifi modems designed for travel, travellers and all their important luggage and gear can stay connected all the time, even (and especially) when they would ordinarily be considered out of reach. In the modern world, there is something particularly exciting about realising that international communication is more within reach than ever, and more widely accessible, at that.

The power of accessibility and communications

Today, there are multiple social media and even tracking applications that are designed to allow travellers to keep in consistent contact with their loved ones while they are travelling the world. Whether it is using WhatsApp or utilising one of the many professional and secure tracking apps out there to keep track of those you love, no matter where you or they are in the world, there is great power in accessibility and communications, and they are fronts that are encouraged and welcomed from every angle in the wake of advancing travel technologies.

The thrill of capturing it all on camera

There is something to be said for the thrill of experiencing the beauty and essence of travel, and there is a certain level of excitement that comes with knowing you can capture it all to relive the experience later. From smart phones to GoPros, and every camera in between, as well as footage-preserving motions like hard drives and Google Photos or Google Drive, capturing the moment has become one of the easiest parts of travel, and it is all thanks to the travel technology that is changing the norm in travel, time and again.

Ways in Which Instagram is Changing Digital Marketing


The world of marketing has changed enormously with the rise of technology and social media. Inbound marketing has become one of the major forms of gathering a large customer base and creating brand awareness. Digital marketing has grown and transitioned the manner in which brands represent themselves to an audience, but it has also changed the manner in which an audience communicates with the brand. Social media platforms have allowed the middlemen in marketing to disappear and created a direct business to consumer platform. Google Ads and social media ads have allowed brands to refine the users they want to connect with and bring forth an even more targeted audience with the ability to make the necessary purchases. Digital marketing , however, is also constantly transforming. Platforms like Instagram, a social media giant in today’s world, are creating different avenues for all brands. Gone are the days that only the number of likes on a Facebook page showcased a brand’s possibility to garner profits. With Instagram, all brands, especially smaller ones are getting an opportunity to shine.

Here are 2 ways in which Instagram is changing digital marketing

  1. Organic Marketing

Organic marketing is marketing that is either free or done through barter trades. While spending money has been a major part of digital marketing, organic marketing has created a shift in this transaction. In recent years, organic marketing has risen and created benefits for small businesses as it provides a way to grow visibility without having to spend large sums. On Instagram, there are a variety of ways that one can reach a new audience without spending on ads and sponsored content. Instagram for example, has become a social shopping platform by offering the “shop” section in the search bar. Additionally, features like tagging, geo-tagging, and hashtags allow a brand to reach a targeted audience free of cost. Digital marketing through Instagram is more than just appearing on feeds, it has a lot to do with engagement and staying connected with an audience however big or small.

  1. Influencer Marketing

Instagram is a platform that has truly introduced influencer marketing to the world. It is the platform that created this form of digital marketing and made it almost essential. Instagram is filled with influencers in a variety of different fields with a range of different followers, there are nano and micro-influencers as well as large and celebrity level influencers. This creates a possibility for all brands to find the right model or ambassador for their products. Moreover, it provides flexibility to brands in terms of spending. There is a possibility for brands to even barter products in return for posts and stories, as well as provide coupon codes for followers and create affiliate programs. Influencer marketing has changed over the years, however, by staying on track businesses can leverage this both for business to business and business to customer marketing.

Instagram has given rise to many forms of digital marketing which were unheard of in the past decade. This has proven to be beneficial for both customers and businesses. Thus, while digital marketing is in constant transformation it is lucid that as new social media platforms grow so will the ways in which one can market a brand.


The Symbolism of Red Packets in Singapore


To first understand red packets, one must go back to China where the trend originated from. These red packets or envelopes of money are red as the Chinese believe it to be an auspicious color. The amount of money in these packets also have to be an even digit as odd numbers are associated with funerals. A popular denomination is 8 as it is a homophone for “lucky”, “prosperity” and “fortune” in the Chinese language. Conversely, 4 is a homophone for “death” and is often avoided. So when do people dole out the money and when do people expect to receive these little red packets of cash, aka “hong paos”? 

Chinese New Year

Every Chinese New Year, those married with children will have to prepare packets of money for their own children as well as the children of their friends and relatives. Generally, as long as you are not married, you are entitled to receiving a red packet but many elders might pass on those who have already started working. Some families go above and beyond with their gifts and use customised red packets Singapore for their monetary gifts. A myth behind this tradition is that parents want to stop their children from growing older by bribing the gods and paying them off, so that their children will lead long and happy lives. 


Another popular occasion where red packets are abound is during wedding ceremonies. The meaning behind these packets are slightly different. On the surface it is to bless the couple with marital bliss but it is also a gift to help the couple foot the bill. Chinese weddings often rack up a huge bill due to decorations, costume changes, the amount of guests (most of whom are not the couple’s friends but rather the friends of the parents of the bride and groom) and the food. Exotic and expensive delicacies are often served during weddings to show guests that the couple is generous. In a culture which values “face” and pride, it is important for the couple to show their wealth in order to bless their marriage. 

Baby full moon and other joyous occasions

The Chinese celebrates a baby’s first month of life by throwing a full moon party where friends and family gather to fawn upon the new addition to the family. The new parents would receive red packets along with gold for their young one. This money and wealth is often kept by the parents for their child’s future use and they usually put it away for their future college fund. Aside from these traditional gifts, the more modern generation might get practical gifts such as diaper hampers and expensive gadgets such as breast pumps or sanitizers that the couple has put on a wishlist. 

If it is a celebration of sorts and you have no idea what to get, a red packet is always welcomed. It is a much better look than stuffing a $50 dollar bill into the hand of whoever is being celebrated. 

With the rise of digital red packets, perhaps the physical versions might slowly die out. But in the meantime, it is still a largely celebrated aspect of the Chinese custom. 

How Branding and Marketing Came to Be the Heart of All Businesses


When it comes to understanding the key functions and systems that allow businesses of all shapes and sizes to continue to thrive, it is fair to say that there are certainly too many ongoing tactics and strong strategies in play to stay actively aware of them all on a consistent basis. At the core of practically all those innovations, however, are two key components that, over time, have come to be the heart of all businesses, great or small. Branding and marketing are each fundamentally instrumental innovations in modern business, and without either one of them many businesses would fall flat.

From brand naming, to the social media marketing efforts a company makes use of (in addition to the other varying manner of countless branding and marketing tactics there are, for that matter), there can be no denying that branding and marketing are the backbone of modern business. However (understandably), many people make the mistake of assuming that branding and marketing are one in the same. While they are similar in some ways, they each have key differences that make them unique of one another. So, how do we go about figuring out those differences, and can branding and marketing still be collaboratively used?

Understanding the role branding brings to business

Branding is essentially the core component of a business that is responsible for the way that the business comes across to the outside world. This is achieved through image and quality control through the company logo, company values, representation to consumers and the industry, and other aspects of that nature. In branding, a business (no matter the industry that business belongs to) can actively and constantly control the image that comes from the internal side of the business, to the world. The logo and the slogan become what the world remembers the company for, and the company priorities and values become how the company continues to build its reputation on an ongoing basis.

Understanding marketing as a crucial component

On the other hand, marketing is all about handling the activities and tasks that allow active and engaging communication between company and audiences – both existing and prospecting. Marketing exists purely to appeal to the consumer. There is a necessity in the advertising and marketing landscape that demands an accountability to the brand the business puts forward, but also a loyalty to the consumer and what the consumer expects. Without consumers’ loyalty and ongoing support, even the strongest business model can fall flat. Marketing is all about engaging with consumers on an ongoing basis and ensuring that their experience measures up to the high-quality standards that the business insists it embodies.

Making collaborative use of branding and marketing

While branding and marketing are separate entities in business, they can be, and often are, often utilised in collaboration with one another to form a strong business strategy. The smartest and most successful businesses around the world are those that have mastered the art of making successful use of branding and marketing individually, as well as collaboratively (when it calls for it). At the end of the day, branding and marketing are the heart of all successful businesses these days, but they are also brilliant in and of themselves as individual strategies for business. That is their power.

Tesla Continues to Power Forward Electric Automotive Revolution


The automotive industry is no stranger to innovation and improvisation. Over the years – and especially in recent years – this has been one of the most heavily impacted sectors in all the world, in terms of its own evolution. In recent times, the continuous trend in the automotive industry seems to be slowly but surely evolving movement towards smarter, more environmentally-friendly vehicles. Our ever-evolving awareness surrounding how vehicles impact the environment has resulted in a gradually global call to action. More and more, people want to know the environmental impact of the vehicles on the market.

Wanting to significantly lessen their carbon footprint, but also noting that generally the use of a vehicle is necessary to keep up with one’s busy schedule, choosing vehicles that are designed with environmental impact in mind has become a steadily surging theme. The solution comes in the form of an automotive technology that is changing the game. Of all the automotive technologies to grace and transform the industry, it is the movement towards electrifying the industry that has held the most body, on an ongoing basis. Luxury car manufacturer and modern tech powerhouse Tesla is powering forward one of the boldest technological takeovers in the history of automotives: electric vehicles.

A lesson in braving change

For decades, vehicles have always operated on fossil fuels. This has been the way since engines were first put into vehicles all those years ago, and it is not technically an effort that is necessarily broken…so why is it in need of modernisation? The answer lies in the air – literally. Decades and decades of air pollution building because of the billions of vehicles that operate throughout the world – not to mention the planes in the sky and the boats that soar across the ocean, for that matter – have resulted in the necessity for change, to ensure a healthier future for not just us and the air we breathe, but the rest of Earth’s living species and Earth itself.

First comes electric, then comes autonomous

Tesla introduced electric vehicles a few years ago now, but owing to the fact that the technology was still relatively new, they were quite expensive and were thus unaffordable for most people. However, over time, the technology has become more advanced, and so the company is releasing vehicles in a more affordable price range now, in addition to its original and performance models that still carry the more expensive price tag. In addition to being electric, Tesla is hoping to bring forward a new era in automotives that promotes and even centres around autonomous (i.e. self-driving) vehicles (but that is a story for another day).

The future of electric automotives

The introduction of widespread electric technology in the automotive industry has changed the way the industry functions and thrives, and it continues to do so. And while the electrification of V8 supercars is well off at this point in time, there is a virtual certainty that, as long as the electric vehicle movement continues to flourish and thrive, there will come a time in the not-so-distant future where fully-electric V8 supercars are very much a reality. But, alas, only time will tell (though it does look like a promising future, at this point). 

How to Protect Your Credit Card From Online Threats?


It is common to see people making transactions online using their debit cards and credit cards. It helps them to place orders for products and services instantly by executing fast money transfers. But most of the people are unaware of threats are hidden behind this technology. 

With the advancements in the technologies, our lifestyle has become quite flexible and comfortable. But at the same time, it created new opportunities for cybercriminals to hamper our bank accounts and other sensitive data. Credit cards are always on high risk as hackers find them most suitable to steal a huge amount from some random bank accounts. Experts advise following some trusted tricks and techniques to protect your credit cards. 

Below we have highlighted a few such methods to ease your online transactions:


  • Follow basic credit security tricks:


Whenever you receive a new card, prefer to do your signatures on the specific space on the backside of the card. It will protect your card even if it is stolen by some fraudsters. Also, never ever store your PIN at the same place where you prefer to keep the card; otherwise, thieves will gain easy access to your money.


  • Don’t share your account number:


Cybercriminals are always eager to know your credit card number so that they can perform some malicious activities and hack your financial accounts. Well, in order to prevent such issues, keep your card private. Don’t allow other people to see it in public places. One should not share any information related to the credit card on phone calls and not even answer any email asking for such credentials. Your bank or merchant do not ask you such information, so avoid falling into the trap of fraudsters. 


  • Secure your devices:


Most of the people these days prefer to make their banking transactions via their smartphone or computer. But if they are not secured, hackers may also gain access to your banking credentials. Make sure you are connected to a secure network before making any such transaction, and your device follows the latest security features.  If the network is not secure, you might need good VPN software to encrypt data and hide your IP. It is also advised to use the latest antivirus to prevent hacker’s attacks and other malicious activities. 


  • Manage your passwords:


Experts always advise changing credit card passwords from time to time; using the same password for a long time make your card vulnerable to hacker’s attacks. It is good to follow unique combinations of letters, characters, and numbers to create strong passwords and does not share them with anyone. Whether you use your credit card for online transactions or offline, prefer to change the password from time to time. 


  • Report lost cards immediately:


The moment you release that your credit card is missing, prefer to contact professionals at your bank so that they can block all the transactions on your card. It will help you stay safe from major theft issues. The bank may issue you a new card after blocking the previous one; the chances are that you may have to pay a small fee for issuing a new card.

The Innovations Transforming the Sleep Industry


The sleep industry has long been a popular one, even taking its place as one of the most instrumental pillar industries in all the world. It seems that sleep is a hot topic, and regardless of if it is the conversations among the industry debating the best mattresses of 2019, or the reviews and word of mouth reviews that consumers pass on to their friends when they purchase a particularly great or imperfect mattress, or anything else in between, sleep is always a fascination.

More and more, people are finding that new innovations into the industry are breaking free and forming to create a new era in sleep. One of those industries is an innovative look at how sleep affects our productivity.

The growing buzz

It has been known for a long time that sleep is necessary to keep the body functioning, but mainstream awareness and knowledge of exactly why and which parts of the body sleep (or lack thereof) effects, have been relatively low key. But as time has moved on, the awareness has grown, and we are finding ourselves more and more to be interested in the way that sleep affects the body.

Why do we feel drained when we get five or six hours of sleep as opposed to eight? How much sleep must we get to operate at our most productive? Especially lately, there have been many studies and much research into the matter, and it has been consistently found that we operate at our most productive. But what have those studies found?

The statistics

This is not just assumptions and expectations here. Multiple studies and much accompanying research all point to the realization that we are at our most productive when we get enough sleep. This means that we are at our best when we make sure that we have a reliable sleeping pattern, and when our sleeping pattern deviates from this normality, we struggle to maintain the same level of zest as we usually have.

Think of some of the world’s leading minds. Some studies have shown that up to 90% of executives wave up before six in the morning throughout the week, and nearly 50% of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before their work is due to begin. These people are brilliant in their fields, because they understand the value of sleep, and they actively work towards ensuring it is a priority.

Sleep is instrumental for our productivity

At the end of the day, there can be no denying that sleep is a crucial contributing factor to our productivity levels and overall level of brain power during the day. Prioritizing sleep is important because if we do not do so, we are limiting the time that we give our brains to rest and replenish. Not having that time can – and often does – prove to put a significant dent in the way that we function and thrive, and at the centre of all that is productivity.

Finance Industry Revolutionised by Technological Impact


In this modern world of rapid digitalisation and technological advancement, it should come as no surprise to anyone that we now live in a reality where technology dominates, and modern life has become easier and more efficient as a result (for the most part, anyway). Practically every aspect of modern life, every industry there is, has been altered by technological impact in one way or another, with many being altered in multiple ways. The way of the modern world is to embrace change wholeheartedly, and the changes that are sending waves around the world are, more and more, technologically empowered. Every aspect of life and corresponding industry has been influenced – and even continues to be influenced – by the rising tides of technological enhancement and revitalisation.

Technological disruption finds the finance industry

This is perhaps never truer than in the case of the finance industry. It is well-known that finance has always been a data-driven industry. This much is certain, without numbers and rhythms the entire financial sector would fall apart. Now, the finance industry is being faced with an incredible wealth of technological transformation, and it is changing everything from the inside out. Finance has always been an industry that has been digitally-driven, but now as technological prowess kicks into high gear in the sector, that is all coming to heel more than ever. From automation of the more tedious and time-consuming efforts in finance, to taking paperwork and financial records to the blockchain, finance is doing it all. But why so?

Finance technology makes the sector more efficient

The technological efforts in the finance industry are making the field more efficient from all angles. Consider the automation takeover, for example. Processes like filling out details, entering passwords, or even paying bills have been automated (as well as the sector from the inside out as well), have been automated, making room for the more demanding aspects of the finance industry to have the adequate attention to detail and time they need. Further, whether an individual is browsing through possible cash loans online, transferring money from one account to the next, or even applying for a new bank account altogether, everything can be done online these days, making the entire finance industry run a lot smoother.

Finance technology makes the field more reliable

At the end of the day, every feat of technology is aimed at making an aspect of life steadier, more reliable. Finance technology works its magic in allowing for this sense of reliability to shine through by working to ensure that technological components are functioning and thriving at their peak. This is achieved through automation, the expansion to the online landscape, blockchain network security, and multiple-point identification to access accounts and apps and get into bank accounts and the like. Technological influence has introduced a new era in reliability in finance, and it is one that is delighting and impressing people around the world time and again. If this is the new form in finance, it is one that is overwhelmingly positive, to say the least (and for the most part).

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