CapitaLand embracing cashless payment, facial recognition in China

By Stanislaus Jude Chan / The Edge Singapore | November 27, 2017 10:53 AM SGT
Real estate giant CapitaLand is embracing digital disruption to take its brick-and-mortar property developments to the next level.
The group announced it has formed a strategic alliance with China UnionPay to allow its China customers to make cashless payment through its loyalty programme app, CapitaStar. CapitaStar’s four million members in China will be able to scan QR codes via the CapitaStar app to make payments from their China UnionPay accounts across the group’s integrated developments, shopping malls and serviced residences in China.
The alliance was announced at the IE Singapore – CapitaLand Tech & Innovation Summit in Beijing, which was officiated by Singapore’s Minister of Finance, Heng Swee Keat. The event aims to accelerate cross-border innovation and knowledge-sharing between Singapore and China.
ADVERTISEMENT
In addition, CapitaLand at the event inked a memorandum of understanding with Chinese tech startup Megvii to roll out Face++, the world’s largest facial-recognition technology platform, at the group’s offices and malls in China.
The artificial intelligence-powered technology will give tenants fuss-free access through the turnstiles at CapitaLand offices, and allow seamless integration of user profiles through the CapitaStar app.
CapitaLand says it plans to bring Face++, which has seen a successful pilot with office tenants at Raffles City Beijing, to its properties in Singapore.
“Technology will allow us to notch up our real estate development expertise to co-create connected, inclusive and sustainable smart precincts for the community. We are augmenting our customers’ live, work and play experiences by allowing them to interact with us both offline and online (O&O),” says Lim Ming Yan, president and group CEO of CapitaLand.
ADVERTISEMENT
“By embracing technological disruption, CapitaLand is in a strong position to build real estate of the future, and continue to be relevant to the community,” he adds.
At the same time, CapitaLand entered into a tripartite partnership with IE Singapore and Chinese co-working space operator UrWork to facilitate the expansion of Singapore and China companies by supporting them with office, mall and co-working spaces.
In an extension of the tripartite partnership inked in December 2016, the new MOU will also see IE Singapore support CapitaLand’s setup of innovation centres in China to incubate selected Singapore companies and to test-bed their technologies in CapitaLand’s properties in China.
ADVERTISEMENT
Meanwhile, CapitaLand signed a MOU with high-tech conglomerate Han Hai Holdings to create a China-focused corporate venture fund, C31 Ventures China.
The fund will invest in start-ups to bring insights from the latest in customer experience-centric technology, media and telecoms (TMT), artificial intelligence and smart buildings to China.
CapitaLand’s properties in China will also serve as living labs for the start-ups to test-bed their innovations.
“We are pleased to forge many valuable partnerships today,” says Lucas Loh, CEO of CapitaLand China and co-ordinating CEO for China, CapitaLand. “We aim to boost the collective efforts across innovators, corporates and governments to bring forth economic growth through technology.”
“As one of the largest foreign-funded developers in China, we are well-poised to bring to customers unprecedented, new experiences in smart urban communities by integrating physical shopping, working and living with practical digital solutions,” he adds.