Thursday, 1 October 2015

Pay TV Guide: Who offers the best deals?

For many years in Malaysia, a single pay TV service controlled the market. Offering what they claim to be better service, better channels and, most importantly, better deals, a few more are making their presence known in Malaysia pay TV industry.

Marketing brochures aren’t the best place to get the truth as we know; so we decided to explore into the thrilling world of pay TV to seek the truth who really gives you the best deals.

Astro Malaysia

Sources: Courtesy of Astro

Astro is a direct broadcast satellite (DBS) Pay TV service that is well established due to the fact of being the single provider in the market for so many years. Undoubtedly, Astro have many packages and the varieties can occasionally make you cross-eyed with confusion. Here are some of the packages offered by Astro:

Basic TV channels

It offers various packages; it would cost you RM42.30 (inclusive of a 6% government tax) if you’re looking for the most basic package which has 40 channels. An extra of RM32 would be charge for additional prime packages, and mini packages cost RM9 although they would encourage you to subscribe two mini packages. Let say you opt for one basic package, one prime package and two mini packages, your bill can fetch up to over RM90 easily. If you want HD channels that would be an additional of RM20, and recording service (PVR) would cost another extra of RM30.

Existing packages such as the Bundle Deals, Value Pack and Super Pack, the deal prices range from RM51.95-RM133. Meanwhile, the value packs only include the HD service, however, the Super Pack offers HD & PVR services, together with Astro on the Go and Video on Demand.

TV, Broadband and Phone

Astro has also introduced Astro IPTV where you can have internet and a phone line in one package. There are varieties of prices to choose for as they come in various packages. For the Super Pack, the TV packages prices range from RM133-RM155 with basic internet cost RM123. The basic TV packages cost about RM39.95 and the rest cost around RM75, and its basic internet starts from RM148. If you require additional home phone package, you’ll need to add on another RM20-RM30. Select each one and you’ll get your final price for your monthly subscription.

Let say you want the cheapest package available, this is how it would cost you:
RM39.95 (TV) + RM148* (Broadband) + RM20 = RM207.95
*Cheaper broadband price of RM138 is available but you will have to choose a basic super package of RM133 at least.

Tip: You may want to take into account the final price that will come up with an additional 6% tax.


Sources: Courtesy of Telekom Malaysia

HyppTV has gradually risen in popularity in the pay TV industry as it comes together with the broadband service as more people using Unifi and Streamyx by TM. The great news is the service also comes with an additional phone line too! However, there’s no way of having only HyppTV as you must have an internet connection plan with Streamyx to have access to HyppTV.

As both Streamyx and Unifi offer HyppTV; it offers to the kind of service that you want. Both Unifi and Streamyx are broadband services, each with various packages deal. To have access to HyppTV for Streamyx for an example, it would be greatly advised to go for the 8Mbps package for RM160 a month, as it comes with the 17 HyppTV basic channels. However, there is a 4Mbps at RM140 package, but you won’t get the channels until you add on one of their packages ranging from RM30-RM50.

All Unifi subscriptions come with HyppTV, so if you’re searching for cheaper package it would be the VIP5 that cost RM149.00. If you want to add more channels, you will have to select a package which cost between RM30-RM50.


Sources: Courtesy of ABN Xcess

Presently, ABNxcess is the only digital cable television operator in Malaysia, and was recently launched back in June 2013. Consider fairly new, it currently claims as Malaysia’s most reasonable price internet + TV package. However, it doesn't come with a phone line though.

If you just want the digital TV service alone, you already start with RM29.99 monthly which is consider absolutely affordable. It basic internet of 5 Mbps with 50 TV channels would cost RM69.99 while if you want the 10Mbps with your 50 TV channels, that will cost you RM98.99, but remember, this is only applicable during the promotion period as the usual price would be RM129.00.
So who wins in the Battle of the Pay TV Providers?

Pay TV packages in Malaysia are complicated business. Information isn't readily accessible on websites as most packages are highly customisable depending on the channels you select however we try to get you answers anyway.

If you’re a basic TV package and aren't into extreme sports; super new movies and marathon episodes of Queen Divas on TVBE, this is what you can choose to pay for your TV subscription.

Pay TV
Basic TV package only
Basic TV + Internet package only
Basic TV + Internet + Phone line package only
*All prices may include tax.

We may say Astro remains pretty costly, while Unifi and ABNxcess are inexpensive in their respective categories. But do they really offer you the entertainment thrill you need? Are your favourite TV shows on the package you’ve selected or are you pick it simply because it’s cheap? Paying a cheap price for a package you don’t want is even more wasteful than paying more for something you’ll truly enjoy so make the decision based on your interests. At the same time if you are an internet junkie, then get the one with a broadband connection included. Packages are customisable for a reason.

Unquestionable, value is relative and you’ll only know this if you’re subscribed to the right channels so get the right channels for you. The pay TV industry in Malaysia is set to expand even more based on the way things are looking right now. Competition will influence prices but so will your choices. In the end, as with anything you choose; make sure it’s within your means. It’s futile being up to date with having most channels and expensive subscription if you can’t even pay the mortgage.

Monday, 28 September 2015

4 Hot Mobile Banking Security Developments

Put Your Finger on It
Consumer banking has been revolutionized with the introduction of touch ID, the biometric centrepiece of Apple's latest smartphones. Recently, financial services companies pounced when the Cupertino tech giant released the API for Touch ID, its fingerprint-authentication technology. In fact, Apple is not the only belle at the mobile-banking ball. Westpac New Zealand, for example, has come up with apps for mobile fingerprint scanning on Samsung devices.
Benefits of Touch
Banks will love this technology for its convenience in future as it has prospective that enable customers to reset their password without having to take up call centre time and resources – and has the potential to replace passwords completely someday. There are other mobile biometrics that banks are exploring as well, including images of eyes due to bothering issues bank industry regarding the security of the Apple Touch ID (which has been proved to be hackable).
The Eyes Have It
Eyeprint ID envisages logging in to your bank account by just taking an eyeball selfie. This is a revolutionary mobile security technology developed by biometrics firm EyeVerify in 2013. According to EyeVerify, unlike iris scanning that is more costly and requires specialized hardware, Eyeprint ID utilizes basic smartphone cameras to scan the unique map of blood vessels in the whites of the user's eyes.
Benefits of Eye Scanning
People always say that our eyes are the windows to our souls, not only that, our eyes will be the windows to our bank accounts someday. As every smartphone comes fitted out with a camera of a fairly high resolution, making use of eye-scanning applications is relatively feasible for financial institutions. As with fingerprinting, it's a way to offer multi-factor authentication for all mobile banking customers.
The Benefits of Voice Recognition
For mobile banking apps voice assistance has long been available. USAA introduced its "Virtual Mobile Assistant" for iPhone users two years ago, and E-Trade Financial rolled out voice recognition into its mobile apps the year before that. The benefits of voice recognition to financial institutions are the promise of improving and simplifying security and usability. Voice-based authentication does not require the customer to remember a complex password just like other biometrics. In fact, voice biometrics elevates accessibility, assisting people with disabilities the difficulty of tapping in a password.
Benefits of Personal Finance Management
Good customer service is about providing Personal Finance Management to your customers for use on their mobile devices isn't just about good security. Banking brands can utilize these tools to support fiscal responsibility for their customers that can lead to improve saving attitudes. In short, these tools are like money in the bank.
In conclusion
Fingers, eyeballs, voice and, of course, an app to assist customers to manage their spending and these are part of the emerging upsurge of mobile banking that IT organizations in financial services companies need to consider in the near future. As valuable customer information becomes increasingly target of cyber-criminals, the mobile device must be equipped with best defence. It’s not impossible to achieve this as long as banking industry feels the need to implement the tools and services that will protect their customers.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Learning Management System (SmartUMS) and students of University of Malaysia Sabah

This system is UMS official online learning system. The system implementation is based on CAPs PSPTN for E-learning and UMS-KRA1: To enhance teaching and learning excellence. The system is put under E-Learning Implementer Committee and integrated with HR-Online System to provide employee information and Student Information System to provide information of course offered, lecturer, and student.

The implementation objective is to provide facility for online teaching and learning. Among functions serve by this application are:
                 i.            Upload and download documents such as lecture notes, references in form of texts, and multimedia documents.
                 ii.            Link to publish journals proposed by lecturer
              iii.            Forum, chat and message facilities. Message facility can be evaluated to be given scores
                iv.            Online quiz
                  v.            Serve as online medium for assignment online submission
                vi.            Survey and data mining process for research purposes
             vii.            Wiki and glossary for reference and elevate student’s knowledge
   viii.     Sub function of statistics usage system that is integrated with CAPs PSPTN needs

Access to this application:

University of Malaysia Sabah: Research Management and Conference Information System

The system is UMS research grant management system handled by Centre of Innovation and Research UMS. The system is integrated with HR-Online System and UMS Official Portal.
The implementation objectives are to develop comprehensive research management, conference, and innovation information system to ease management and administrative relating to research and conferences at UMS.
This application provides:
                   i.            UMS External research grant application (CR1.1 Form)
                 ii.            Management of UMS Research Grant Scheme application
a.     Check research grant documents
b.     Monitoring evaluation of research working paper
c.       Validate UMS Research Grant application
d.     Application approval
e.       Generate code for research grant
f.       List overall application
              iii.            Management of application to attend conferences
             iv.            Manage record and report related to research grant (publication, conference, IP status)
           v.            Monitoring research grant
       vi.            User system management
  vii.            Link to E-Account System (Research Grant Financial Management System)
viii.            Entry of expertise information (register expertise, and expertise recognition)

Access to this application:

HR-Online System: University of Malaysia Sabah

This is a One-stop system to all information record of UMS staffs. HRONLINE System was established using Yii Framework and all modules in HRONLINE also created using the same framework. Implementation system of HRONLINE is based on Key Result Area (KRA) Registrar Department in solidifying human resource management in holistic manner and enhances Information Technology.
The implementation objectives are to prepare a record system for UMS staff in comprehensive and integrated manner. This is the module prepared through application:

i)                  E-LNPT (Non-Academic)
a.     Records employee annual work targets for non-academic for the purpose of LNPT appraisal
b.     Online LNPT appraisal
c.       Online Automatic calculation of scores
d.     Online selection of Excellent Service Awards and Commendable Service Awards recipients

ii)               E-LNPT (Academic)
a.     Records employee annual work targets for academic for the purpose of LNPT appraisal
b.     Online LNPT appraisal
c.       Online Automatic calculation of scores
d.     Online selection of Excellent Service Awards and Commendable Service Awards recipients

iii)            MyCPD
a.     Record CPD  points attended by staffs
b.     For the purpose of year end CPD assessment of achievement
c.       Contribute scores in LNPT
d.     Record courses attended by employees during the service
e.       Courses online application

iv)             E-Cuti
a.     Record employee leave
b.     Online leave application
c.       Online notification through email
d.     Replacement annual leave (GCR) calculation for employee that will retire soon

v)                CV-Online
a.     Record employee curriculum vitae
b.     Online submission for promotion application
c.       MyCAPP function that act as qualification benchmark for academic staffs before applying for promotion
d.     Act as Expert Directory repository for academic staffs
e.       Enable printing of curriculum vitae  for related purposes

Access to this application:

U-Customs establish systems, services of Customs Department

Customs collection is expected to increase using this system
Royal Malaysian Customs Department will introduce a comprehensive and well-established electronic system known as the 'Ubiquitous Customs' or U-Customs to replace the Customs Information System (CIS), which was introduced 17 years ago. U-Customs, which will be fully implemented by 2016 will conform to international standards by establishing facilities for trade and customs procedures thoroughly.
U-Customs will be able to reduce leakages in customs revenues from 18 percent to 15 percent by 2015 as set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for developed countries and 20 percent for developing countries. Royal Malaysian Customs Department proceeds will increase by the new system would not only meet the needs and demands of traders and industry sectors.
The Government has decided that the customs information system is now considered to be not so effective and efficient even unable to cope with issues related to revenue leakage, replaced. In addition to smuggling and commercial fraud, the absence of a robust electronic system has been identified among the main causes of revenue leakage.
This system enables the latest data related to shipping information and documents import / export trade is shared by 'authorized partners' via web services. It can also help the process of auditing and risk rating profile of goods and importers / exporters in the risk management system.
U-Customs system developed by Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) and still in the development stage. U-Customs is able to optimize the commercial facility management and security control border trade easy, efficient and friendly to the cost of money as evidenced by South Korea. As a result, South Korea's total trade has increased more than 12 times that of USD11.3 billion in 1974 to USD134.9 billion in 1990.
Customs Affairs that was conducted semi-automatic or semi ICT in the country causing leakages with ease, productivity is not being enhanced, increasing the amount of human capital and revenue not properly collected.

The digitisation and future of the financial services industry

The financial services industry has been a front-runner when it comes to technology for more than 30 years now. Benefiting consumers and corporates alike, the sector has stayed ahead of the digital curve, regardless from automation and electronic user devices such as ATMs to online banking and electronic payments. More control in the hands of the corporate treasurer clearly shows the result that the world of business banking has become much more streamlined and efficient.

The development of the Internet and a dramatic reduction in the cost of technology are two key factors have influenced this shift. In today’s more cutting-edge second digital age, mobile technologies and the advancement of data science have presented unparalleled heights of connectivity between personal devices and banking applications, systems and platforms, shifting society prodigiously and subsequently the companies that power the economy.

The blend of these new technologies has had a momentous waves on company infrastructure, most particularly through fast-emerging linked solutions such as cloud computing. There are three fundamental service models that support drive: i). Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which provides virtual computing resources including servers, storage and networking over the Internet; ii).Platform as a Service (PaaS), which allows corporates to roll out applications, tools and internal services through the cloud; and, iii).Software as a Service (SaaS), which enables companies to rent the usage of critical software solutions through the cloud.

At the moment a massive number of all software solutions are developed in the cloud, shifting the face of the financial services industry for good by offering a multitude of benefits and solutions to companies of all sizes. For an example, the onset of digital and mobile technology has many key benefits when it comes to the corporate treasury department. Documents are nowadays easily transferrable so there is no need for physical hard copies that need to be carried around, copied or faxed in its most basic form.

These days, smartphones and tablets provide much the same functionality and accessibility as the average office PC, making mobile technology exceptionally convenient and extremely connected to the workplace. This is turn diminishes the classic limitations faced by the office working environment, permitting corporate treasurers and finance executives to complete transactions on the move from anywhere at any time. This reduces time to concentrate on innovation and improving efficiencies elsewhere in the department.

And these new technological advancements continue to make the function more effective and efficient once treasury executives actually reach the office. The majority of devices and systems are now linked, empowering the finance team to generate more precise accounting reports, upgrade internal transparency, access financing solutions and mitigate risk. And the fact that data can now be divided into smaller, more digestible pieces and endure in-depth analysis really creating the corporate world increasingly knowledgeable and intelligent about their businesses.

The cash management landscape has also reshaped by the connectivity between corporate and banking systems. Today, finance department is able to negotiate deals, issue electronic invoices, make transfers, accept cashless payments and mitigate the risks associated with currency volatility in real time. In fact they can also now source cost savings across company expenditure online and utilise virtual corporate cards. Improving organisational profitability and customer service standards is also tips of their fingers as companies can also refinance their account receivables seamlessly, improving liquidity management and freeing up working capital in the process.

Truly, as a consequence of this more corporate reliance on digital technology, reasonable worries are being upstretched on cyber security, particularly with concerns to connected devices and the number of points of entry. Still, the financial services industry has been focusing on how to address these defies for some time now and security has always been a primary key objective for the world’s leading institutions. The cooperation of corporations and banks on security aspects benefited both parties and improve the alignment of their interests forms an effective defence against cyber-attacks.

The added convenience and interconnectivity between devices, systems and platforms as the world moves towards an increasingly digital age and since has empowering the finance role to an unimaginable level of sophistication never seen before. In recent years, the treasury has grown into a rheostat mecca where precise decisions and actions are taken in real time, decreasing the risk of errors and interruption, and taking all the intelligence needed for the exact decisions to be made. Therefore, it is crucial that corporate treasurers select a banking partner that delivers the tools and link that will facilitate them to fully utilize the expansions of the digital revolution.