Beacon Interface - Thailand#s latest startup, gaining fame at global financial innovation competition

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Wednesday October 5, 2016 15:30
Bangkok--5 Oct--KASIKORNBANK

KBank continues to promote FinTech startups, taking Beacon Interface to global competition stage with its innovative mobile banking app for visually impaired. This social innovation has placed the company in the round of final 20 teams, out of 650 from around the globe, at the Global FinTech Hackcelerator competition. The final will take place in Singapore this November.

Mr. Teeranun Srihong, KASIKORNBANK President and Chairman of KASIKORN BUSINESS-TECHNOLOGY GROUP (KBTG), stated that technology is vital to the development of financial services nowadays. KBank has a commitment to develop financial technology to enhance competitiveness, focusing on financial innovations to accommodate digital banking. Recently, KBank introduced Beacon Interface Company Limited, the latest startup company—a joint venture set up by KBank, which aims at creating cutting-edge financial service innovations to meet the latest trends and the new technology era.

Beacon Interface's first accomplishment is a hi-tech innovation for society, creating a new mobile app user experience especially designed for the blind, the low vision, and the elderly enabling them to easily and discretely conduct financial transactions on smartphones with confidence with simple and intuitive finger movements. The innovation is associated with the company's name, Beacon Interface, which means a lighthouse that guides people with visual impairment.

Beacon Interface entered the latest innovative application at the Global FinTech Hackcelerator competition in the Singapore FinTech Festival, which seeks the world's best FinTech innovative application. About 650 projects from 50 countries worldwide entered the competition. The final 20 teams comprise six teams each from the US and Singapore, and one team each from Thailand, India, Sweden, Australia, Israel, New Zealand, the UK and Hong Kong. The competition started with brainstorming to tackle 100 Problem Statements of conducting financial transactions that the host categorized into 10 topics, one of which is Customer Engagement that inspired "Disruptive Accessibility Feature" on a mobile app for people with eye disorders.

In the first round, Beacon Interface brought reputation and pride to Thailand as it was the only Thai startup to enter the round of 20 teams shortlisted for the final. Currently, each team is developing their products and services to present on the Demo Day on November 15, 2016. Three shortlisted finalists demonstrating the most compelling innovation and business idea will be the winners.

To develop this application, Beacon Interface collaborated with an academic partner, ABLE (Achieve Better Living for Elderly) Lab of King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT). Asst. Prof. Dr. Chujit Treerattanaphan, ABLE Lab Co-Founder and KMUTT Associate Dean for Research School of Architecture and Design, joined the team to led the usability research, user experience and user interface (UX/UI) design, which enhances ability of Beacon Interface's new UX/UI innovation to completely and accurately accommodate the needs of the visually impaired.

The Singapore FinTech Festival is organized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the city state's financial institution regulator. The event, sponsored by the Association of Banks in Singapore, will be held on November 14-18, 2016, with the aim of making Singapore the new FinTech startup's ecosystem—a network for startups, venture capitals, and customers from every corner of the globe.

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