Being one of the game changers providing Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platforms, it comes as no surprise that IBM seeks to transform business models and enabling infrastructure in another industry – global trade. The right way to do it is to partner with the strongest.
Pick #1. IBM Forges Global Joint Venture with Maersk Applying Blockchain to ‘Digitize’ Global Trade
By applying the technology to digitize global trade processes, according to the joint venture partners a “new form of command and consent” can be introduced into the flow of information, thereby empowering multiple trading partners to collaborate and establishing a “single shared view” of a transaction – without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality.
Together with Maersk, the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world since 1996, the parties will use blockchain technology to power the new platform.
In addition, they will employ other cloud-based open-source technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics, delivered via IBM Services, in order to help companies move and track goods digitally across international borders.
Pick #2. How Home Depot Is Using Big Data to Gain a Big Advantage
“Our data allows us to know our customer at a more individual level. Our targeting capability will help us get to them at the right place at the right time, and we aspire to have all of our messages be tailored to the audience… Customers will expect retailers to speak to them at an individual level. The world of traditional one-size-fits-all messaging is quickly falling behind us. We’ve got diverse customer groups. Here, you see an affluent baby boomer, a pro and a millennial who happens to be a new homeowner. The reality is… We regress to a lowest common denominator approach. We try to find the one message that somewhat appeals to all of them. But each of these customers has different needs and a different level of expertise.”
Home Depot’s marketing is so targeted that even when these individuals live on the same street in the same neighborhood and are watching the same game on television, they will see different ads. When customers from different areas of the country visit Home Depot’s home page, they will also see different products highlighted. But Home Depot has found ways to tailor marketing beyond just making it more personal for each consumer.
One of the things Home Depot is now experimenting with is weather-triggered ads.
As Hoffman says, “These ads are only deployed and invested in when the weather is right.”
Another thing the company is now deploying is local inventory ads, where ads will display depending on the inventory levels in a given area’s stores.
Pick #3. Mobile Phone Payment Era in Metro
Chinese passengers will be able to use their smartphones to pay for metro journeys from Saturday. However, foreign passengers will have to wait until June. After a two-month trial on the maglev line, payment by scanning a QR code will be available at all the city’s 389 metro stations.
The app offers two ways of paying. One is to deposit money, at least 10 yuan (US $1.5) through Alipay or UnionPay. Alternatively, the system will automatically take the fee from the user’s Alipay or bank account after each trip.
Pick #4. Deutsche Bank Partners with Tech Firm to Offer Online Insurance Product
Deutsche Bank plans to establish its own insurance brokerage, operated by Friendsurance, to sell insurance through its online bank. It will not be just a platform to compare prices, nor will it be just a link to its partner, Friendsurance. Rather, it will perform the function of a traditional insurance broker advising the customer if a policy is a good fit or if there is a better alternative.
Pick #5. Blackhawk Network to Expand Alipay Mobile Wallet Acceptance to Select Top Retailers
Blackhawk Network, a global financial technology company, and Alipay, a leading digital payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, has partnered to expand Alipay’s mobile payment acceptance and engagement offerings to participating US retailers. Leveraging Blackhawk’s technology, the partnership will present an opportunity for Blackhawk’s network of retail partners to elect to engage with visiting Chinese travelers. Blackhawk intends to roll out the service in select participating retailers beginning January 2018.
“Approximately 4 million Chinese tourists visit North America every year. Many of those travelers are Alipay consumers already and are looking for the payment safety, convenience and efficiency they are accustomed to at home,” said Souheil Badran, President of Alipay Americas. “We partnered with Blackhawk for its robust network of top-tier retailer partners, its innovative solutions, and proprietary technology, and we are pleased to continue to provide Chinese travelers with a seamless shopping and payment experience in North America.”