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GCash provides Filipinos access to savings amid COVID-19

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The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the importance of keeping an emergency fund, studies show.

A recent consumer expectations survey by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) revealed that more Filipinos are now building their own savings accounts, with 73.9-percent of respondents setting aside money in their banks for unforeseen situations.

Aside from its impact on public health, COVID-19 is also proving to be a financial emergency. The BSP is bracing for a downturn for the national economy, as well as a 2.2-percent increase in the price of basic goods. Businesses are also taking a big hit from the lockdown, as massive layoffs are still expected to come, leaving Filipinos financially handicapped in the middle of a public health crisis.

Having reached more than two months of quarantine which last until May 31, the Philippines is one of the countries with the longest lockdowns in the world. In an effort to flatten the curve general community quarantine has been imposed in most parts of the country until June 15, while seriously affected areas remained under tighter quarantine protocols.

This has forced a lot of Filipinos to grow more mindful of their personal finances. According to a white paper released by AdSpark, Inc., a portfolio company under Globe Telecom’s 917Ventures, consumption of Personal Finances as a topic grew by 800 percent from January 2020 to end of March 2020 when most Filipinos were required to stay at home.

Mindful of these, GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, is empowering Filipinos to efficiently manage their finance and save up for their futures.

GCash Save Money, a collaboration between GCash and CIMB Bank PH, provides an easier way for Filipinos to set up their own savings account or emergency fund. It is the first ever bank account that can be opened and maintained straight from the GCash app.

This spares verified GCash users the trouble of filling up multiple forms and lining up at the bank just to open up a bank account. GCash Save Money allows depositors to earn 3.1 percent per annum on balances, paid out monthly. This interest rate is the best in the industry, beating traditional banks that only offer up to 0.25 percent per year.

As an added bonus, GCash Save Money users who have average daily balances of P100,000 and above in the months of June or July 2020 are entitled to a 4-percent interest rate p.a. prorated for those months.

Users would also not have to worry about fees as well as there is no initial deposit and maintaining balance.

“Now more than ever, it’s important for us to practice financial literacy and make wise spending decisions in the middle of a pandemic. GCash Save Money shows us that it’s possible for all walks of life to set up their own emergency fund. Financial inclusivity is at the heart of this collaboration,” GCash Head of Data and Financial Services JF Darre said.

Any Filipino citizen above 18 years of age who owns a fully verified GCash account and a valid government ID can deposit under GCash Save Money.

GCash Save Money users can easily track their balance and transaction history through the “Save Money” button in the GCash app. They can also seamlessly move up to P100,000 per month between the deposit account and the e-wallet.

“GCash Save Money is also more secure than traditional cash handling and the Filipino habit of keeping cash in various places in their houses. Aside from being regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), GCash Save Money accounts are also insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp. (PDIC) for up to P500,000,” Darre said.

As digital fund transfers increase in number as millions are in lockdown, financial technology is expected to play a big part in the new normal. Mobile wallets and e-deposit accounts are not just a matter of convenience in the era of social distancing, they have become necessities to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by making transactions go contactless instead.

“GCash Save Money is enabling more and more Filipinos to save as the days go by, especially now that they Filipinos are more mindful of their personal finances. We have seen this trend grow through our new customers and we are happy to empower them with a digital tool that allows them to financially secure themselves for the future,” Darre said.

So far, GCash has opened 2.2 million GCash Save Money accounts to date, further promoting financial inclusion in the country.

Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), which operates GCash, is part of the portfolio companies of 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines wholly-owned by Globe Telecom Inc.

GCash is available for download on the App Store and Google Play. For more information, kindly visit https://www.gcash.com/.

Source: https://bitpinas.com/news/gcash-provides-filipinos-access-savings-amid-covid-19/

Covid19

How followers on Instagram can help to navigate your brand during a pandemic

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People around the globe are indeed trying to accept the new norms of social distancing. Even a small business owner and Instagram marketing managers are undertaking pivotal campaigns to make changes on content calendars to launch products or services. They are working on new ideas to ensure the engagement of the audience. It is indispensable to stay connected on Instagram more than ever, as most businesses presently rely on social media.

It is through the proper marketing channels of Instagram that you will be able to connect to the world. You can even use Instagram for entertainment, but you must understand that businesses rely on Instagram’s marketing channels due to a pandemic outbreak. Now the most obvious question that pops up is how to use Instagram in the era of COVID-19?

 Is it necessary to buy followers on Instagram to push your brand?

Just because there is an outbreak of pandemic does not mean you have to stop marketing or selling your brand. You have to continue posting on Instagram to entice the audience consistently. Since your audience is spending more time on Instagram than ever, it is an excellent opportunity for you to grab their attention and convert them into loyal customers. Pandemic brought with itself a unique opportunity for marketers to strengthen the relationship with the audience and increase affinity towards their brand. However, you cannot run the business through the usual channels.

There is a lot of anxiety and sensitivities among the masses. As such, you have to change methods of brand promotion to go with the flow. Change is something that has become constant in the world presently. Brand managers have to devise ways to embrace the uncertainty of present times by consistently dealing with unique challenges. Small business owners are finding it very difficult to juggle between selling and marketing to stay in business. Now the question arises what kind of content to post on Instagram presently?

 

The present scenario exposes a brand new market or territory for all social media managers today in a competent manner. You need to understand that the situation that is confronting the world is something very new and unique. The marketing managers do not have an idea about how to market their products or Instagram during a global pandemic. As such, you cannot find tried and tested strategies for selling your products and services during such a challenging time. However, particular suggestions can help you sustain in the market during a period of crisis.

Guiding principles to market your brand or Instagram during a pandemic.

Learn to accept the new normal

It is not a good idea for marketers to ignore the norms of the new normal. It would help if you inform your followers about the latest social distancing norms and encourage them to abide by it.

It is effortless for you to convey to your audience that you know what is happening around and are concerned about the present situation. Many celebrities have smartly put up that it is very awkward to promote your products and services during such a crisis, but they had plans to do so because they have to provide for their employees.

Many marketers have mentioned that it is an effort to sustain the jobs of their employees. Thus they have to boost their sales on Instagram. Therefore it was a smart move to market products while showing concern for the employees. All you do is acknowledge the current crisis to humanize your brand effectively.

Be consistent with your content

You need to understand that your followers are devoting more time to social media than ever before. Thus it has become much easier for you to connect to your followers and market your products and services. Try to upload content that aligns with the values of your brand to engage consumer prospects. The caption that you upload is also essential because it gives a context to your content that would remain forever. Try to use captions that would acknowledge the crisis while proactively giving solutions to sanitization concerns. However, it would be best to encourage your followers regarding social distancing and isolation to abide by the new normal.

Express empathy

As you know, the pandemic is affecting everybody around the globe in various matters. Thus it would help if you extended your sympathy beyond your situation. It would help if you expressed empathy; add compassion for your followers to make a bond. Do not just post engaging memes without showing concern for your followers. You do not need to speak about COVID-19 in all your captions and post, but the tone should express concern about people worldwide.

It would help if you acknowledged that some of your followers might have become jobless, some must have lost their loved ones, some might be struggling to work from home, etc. As such, your content should acknowledge your followers’ struggles and appreciate their efforts.

Some social media managers believe you must buy followers on Instagram to expand your clientele base during the crisis.

 

Source:  Andrew Thompson is a content developer and online marketing guru. Having worked at an SEO expert company for the last three years, He also advises helping on Instagram to expand your clientele base and share effective SEO tips, strategies, and the latest developments and sure-shot strategies people can take to climb SERP rankings.

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Cyber Security

How Was 2020 Cyber Security Awareness Month?

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Global corporate enterprise and indeed global society is aware of the concept of cyber security. Personally Identifyable Information (PII) data leaks, continued personal phishing expeditions and state-based adversary hacking have all brought cyber security into focus for the average person.

The average Board member is certainly more aware of the value of cyber security than in years past due in part to ransomware payments. And front-lines employees are certainly more aware of the value of cyber security due to an increased understanding of what not to do.

The state of cyber security is indeed strong. As the Cyber Security Hub Year End Report will elucidate, nearly 80% of the community feels that the overall state of cyber security, meaning operations, resiliency, compliance, awareness, etc., is improving.

But that is of course through the end of the day today. As cyber security professionals know, it’s all about tomorrow. And tomorrow is going to be a bear.

Awareness

A few years of the Mid-Year and Year End reports has shown a sustained focus and expense on Security Awareness. Cyber security executives seem comfortable with the returns to date. But we are now in a whole new world and the pre-pandemic security awareness quotient does not cut it.

Key Questions:

  • How often are you in front of the organization regarding security awareness?
  • Are you expediting security awareness the same way that you’ve always done it?
  • Is each person in the organization aware of all of the new threat vectors?

Automation

The Cyber Security Hub Automation Report is fresh out with some key takeaways. More needs to be done than there is dollars to do. Automated attacks are on the rise and the global pandemic has not been kind to budgets. That means that organizations must make choices on if they can handle any amount of cyber security automation investment.

The luckier ones are making choices on what to automate with a better understanding of the fact that while automation might eventually reduce overhead, the human resources needed to make automation work have to be found and added first.

Key Questions:

  • Do you have budget for automation?
  • If yes, do you have the talent you need for automation?
  • If no, what technical debt do you have that you could lose?

Cloud-First

We just started the Zero Trust conversation and we have to also start the SASE conversation. Our friends at Okta have a handy chart that shows four levels of a Zero Trust organization. The first level is level zero (no-relation). Common wisdom has most of global corporate enterprise at either level zero or level one. Most folks think that less than 10% are at level 3 (that’s the highest level).

The Cyber Security Hub Year End Report will showcase the fact that 75% of the community is telling us how they stopped worrying and learned to love the VPN. (That’s a reference to the title of Dr. Strangelove if you’re keeping score at home). The point being- a significant portion of the community is on the just at the front end of figuring out IAM & PAM for their organizations.

So we’ve got a long way to go on establishing a Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA). And a ZTNA is only one piece of a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). SASE is not brand new. Gartner released their first analysis of the concept at the end of last year. Solution providers do have offerings and the top of the market is buying.

Key Questions:

  • Where are you on the IAM/PAM continuum?
  • Where are you on the Zero Trust continuum?
  • Where are you on the SASE continuum?

Business Enablement

As you might know, we’ve consistently shared that cyber security has gone from the Department of No to the Department of Know ensuring that cyber security isn’t in the way of business enablement.

We’ve also covered the fact that the cyber security budget conversation with the board must no longer be based on fear but on risk. The budget conversation as we understand it is best presented by choices.

“If we implement X, spending Y, we’ll reduce risk by Z. If we don’t implement X, risk will increase by Alpha by Year End 2021.”

A significant portion of budgets for 2020 and maybe even some of 2021 were spent in March and April of 2020. The cyber crime rate is going up. To thwart the threats, cyber security executives must be tough. You’ve got threat vectors on all sides. And your budget has been shattered. (That’s a reference to Shattered by the Rolling Stones if you’re keeping score at home).

Key Questions:

  • How are you going into the budget conversation for 2021?
  • Are you able to educate the board and CEO using a risk paradigm?

Happy Cyber Security Month from Cyber Security Hub. You’ve got to be a CISO to know how much mental and intestinal fortitude is needed to get the job done. We have awareness and appreciation of how hard the job is- and the fact that it just keeps getting tougher. So take a breath, focus as you do, get back out there and keep us safe. Thank you for doing the job.

Source: https://www.cshub.com/executive-decisions/articles/how-was-2020-cyber-security-awareness-month

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AR/VR

Sci-fi Shooter Hive Slayer is Free, Asks Players for Louisiana Hurricane Relief Donations Instead

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There are plenty of free virtual reality (VR) games if you know where to look but King Crow Studios’ latest wants to make a real-world difference at the same time. The studio has released Hive Slayer for free this week, instead asking players to donate what they can to a charitable cause.

Hive Slayer

Hive Slayer is a classic arcade-style shooter where you have to defeat swarms of alien invaders across three gameplay modes using an array of powerups. Equipped with a matrix gauntlet (shield) and plasma blaster, Standard Mode is all about clearing waves, mini-bosses and end bosses. Arcade Mode requires columns of enemies to be defeated before they get too close, whilst Endless Mode is exactly that, endless.

To aid in this endeavour the plasma blaster has three firing modes, standard, shotgun and hair-trigger sniper. You also need to keep an eye out for the powerups which need to be shot, adding rapid-fire, shield recharge and bomb to destroy multiple enemies. All the modes feature online leaderboards to add a little competition.

A fairly standard wave shooter by the looks of it. But because King Crow Studios is based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the developer is giving the videogame away for free to encourage players to make any donation to the Community Foundation of Southwest Louisiana Hurricane Relief & Recovery Fund.

Hive Slayer

“The entire world is in the grip of a deadly pandemic, and us Louisianians are dealing with that on top of two deadly and massively destructive hurricanes, Laura and Delta. These catastrophic forces have displaced tens of thousands of people in our area. They have destroyed homes, local business, and lives,” says the studio in a statement.

“The impact of the hurricanes has hit us on a very personal level. Our founder Cody Louviere has been travelling multiple times a week to Lake Charles, Louisiana – hurricane ground zero. A Lake Charles native, he’s been working with his own family – his mother, his father, and siblings – to try to save and repair their homes in the middle of these back-to-back natural disasters.”

100%  of net proceeds will go to the fund which provides food, shelter, medicine, and all other necessities. Supporting PC VR headsets you can download Hive Slayer via itch.io, Steam or by going directly to the CFSLHRF site. For further updates keep reading VRFocus.

Source: https://www.vrfocus.com/2020/10/sci-fi-shooter-hive-slayer-is-free-asks-players-for-louisiana-hurricane-relief-donations-instead/

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