by AUFA MARDHIAH/ FILE PIX
THE changes in consumer behaviour as the country transitions into the endemicity phase makes it timely for application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in e-wallet to analyse purchases, according to Julie Ng, CEO and Co-founder of Vase.ai.
“AI enables e-commerce to create a shelf for a person. By right, everyone should see a different shelf that is personalised to their interest. This is not possible physically due to the high cost, but through AI we can actually predict these virtual shelves in a fast and low-cost way. This means more accuracy and you will be able to engage better,” she said.
She also believes that prediction with the help of AI can be super helpful to increase not just engagement but the overall topline of e-commerce.
Highlighting on the differences of Vase.ai technology as compared to others, she elaborated that Vase.ai tech focuses more on getting fresh data on the spot to ensure the most accurate data.
“We only give customised data – you can customise anything and this is important to us. Let’s say, if you want generic data, you can just google it but a lot of time there are a lot of reports in google; but because it’s generic very few people will acknowledge it due to it not being focused enough to the data point that you’re trying to solve.
Hence, tech-wise our cost would be slightly higher due to the focus on getting the most fresh and precise data point that everyone can customise,” she added.
In terms of acceptance by Malaysians, she said that challenges in Malaysia are more on understanding how Vase.ai makes it done.
“In Malaysia we see whether or not our solution is acceptable in most of the marketing research – a lot of companies are still comfortable with the traditional method which is more physical. Being advanced also comes with the connotations of unfamiliarity.
Our challenge is to actually convince them to step forward – the silver lining of Covid-19 is that there are not many options to do it physically at the time, a lot of companies are stepping forward and trying it out. We do see the adoption of people experimenting and trying during the time,” she said.
According to Julie, currently in the research industry, there are a lot of marketers and owners who are used to the term ‘you do it for me’; but Vase.ai, wish to empower them with ‘do it with me’.
“We believe that data driven is becoming the skill set that actually individual marketers or companies want to nurture in-house. Usually when you outsource you don’t know what goes in between because you just listen to the report – that will not be a skill set.
In the oversea market, people are actually reducing outsourcing and taking it in-house, but if they take it in house they will need a platform that does it with them to help them learn that skill set,” she added.
On the other hand, in terms of the challenges faced in the early stages of development, she said that one of the issues highlighted was the young looking founding team.
“In the B2B industry, the conversation is cute towards the credibility of the founder instead of the product we are selling. Due to that, we actually made ourselves look older. We make sure that our website (where people get the first impression) looks professional and stays professional. Over time, people started to see us more professionally,” she said.
Due to a niche market, finding people who are passionate about data and at the same time knowing about tech is also quite a challenge. Previously, once they find the talent that fits the criteria, they set a lot of time to make sure they can retain the talent – giving a conducive environment at the same time giving the most passionate energy to help achieve the goals.
Commenting further on the target audience for the use of e-wallet, she said that age-wise the younger generation is more advanced on using e-wallet/online payment while older generations are not keen on using it – the gap is significantly reduced.
“We notice this when the government pushes for the mandatory use of MySejahtera. During the pandemic, more people are exposed to the e-wallet and online grocery shopping. Less than 30% of East Malaysians currently use e-wallets, while credit card users are more likely to use it,” she added.
In terms of adoption, she believes that the use of e-wallet is increasing but not as high – usage is not frequent before pandemic but regular use during pandemic, saying, “Based on our latest data, 62% use e-wallet regularly, which consist of the digital population – those who have online access.”
Commenting on the possibility of cash no longer needed in the future, she said that the transition is happening.
“Cash is not entirely out of the picture yet, but the usage of e-wallet is definitely increasing. This highly depends on two things, which is the usage of e-wallet to be more hygienic and easier to track spending for both customer and merchant,” she added.