Britain gets ready to pay the eWAY
eWAY already the credit and debit card processor of choice for eCommerce websites in Australia.
It recently opened new offices in Edinburgh and London with the intention of breaking into the online marketplace in the UK, and is now stepping up its mission to make payments easy for merchants - by launching a new cloud-based service.
eWAY has worked closely with developers to find a way to help go live faster and sell more online – and come up with a system that lets traders switch the service on and off when they want and pay by the hour.
This flexibility is what makes eWAY believe its product will suit everyone from lone traders to SMEs and major corporations, and give it a major advantage over rivals who tie clients in to long term contracts with hefty monthly fees.
eWay also takes the process one step further than competitors by building in transactional emails, social media connectivity and real time global credit card security checks to boost client’s aftersales and profitability.
Founded in 2000 by entrepreneur Matt Bullock, eWAY’s is headquartered in Canberra and claims to be among the friendliest places in the world to work. It provides a pool tables, music chosen by staff members and a beer fridge for Friday evenings for its employees – it even has an office Beagle as an ‘Anti-Stress & Distraction Manager’.
However, the firm is deadly serious in its intention to become the world’s leading processor of online payments, and already counts major brands such as Puma, Krispy Kreme and Canon amongst its clients – not to mention almost all of Australia’s major banking groups.
eWAY CEO Matt Bullock is heading for the UK this month to speak at a number of industry events, and spread the word about how cloud computing is changing the way people shop online and in turn how companies do their business.
Matt Bullock said: “What we do is provide a totally fresh approach to online payments. We want people to be able to do business online the way they want, when they want - rather than being restricted by software and systems imposed on them by other companies.
“By providing cloud-based payment we can help start-ups and SMEs get on their feet and take payments for their products and services far more quickly and more conveniently than ever before, meaning that their growth is not held back by having to invest in complex systems they don’t need.
“We also build in additional functionality that helps them sell more, including social media connectivity, so they can actually work smarter when it comes to processing customer payments.
“The cloud is already changing the way the world does business on the internet, and eWAY is leading the way in terms of helping companies of all sizes adapt and take advantage of these exciting new opportunities.”
Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC
Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’.
Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC.
How Does Beyond Limits Work?
Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel.
But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’.
Why Partner With Mitsui?
Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’.
In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back.
Why Does This Matter?
Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise.
‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.