Mar 16, 2021

PayPal veteran Allen Hu to lead Opera’s new fintech arm

opera
dify
Fintech
allanhu
Joanna England
3 min
PayPal veteran Allen Hu to lead Opera’s new fintech arm
Opera announced it was launching Dify last month and will roll out the service to its 380m monthly users...

PayPal veteran Allen Hu will join Opera’s new fintech arm Dify, the internet giant has announced.

The former Regional Head of Global Core Payments at PayPal will lead the innovative fintech, which is focused on bringing a powerful collection of in-browser and app-based products and q to market via the Opera browser. Users will benefit from privacy-first shopping modes, cashback deals, savings management services and investment opportunities. 

Hu’s background has provided him with extensive experience in fintech and payments solutions, as he also spent time as a Venture Partner at Sequoia Capital China and held leading roles in WeChat and Baidu Pay. 

According to reports, Hu, who has an engineering background, honed his skills at Venture Partner, where he focused on investments in the fintech sector. Prior to that, he was the General Manager of Baidu Pay, the COO of the Fortune 500 company Ping An FinTech (Nasdaq: OCFT), and the Deputy General Manager of TenPay, a Tencent company, where he launched WeChat Pay. 

WeChat Pay was reported to have 1bn daily transactions in 2019. Hu holds a MS degree in Computer Science from University of Iowa and an Executive MBA from CKGSB.

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Opera fintech launch

As one of the world's leading web browsers, Opera, which was founded in Norway in 1995, has pledged to invest $100m in the online payment solution enterprise over the next few years. The service will enable Opera's 50 million-strong active users in Europe to earn cashback from their online transactions simply and easily. Opera's investment promise to Dify is the combined total cost of the launch of Dify and two fintech acquisitions which were finalised in 2020.

Dify uses technology from the Opera browser to provide modern shoppers with the highest quality online experience by making it safer, more personal and more rewarding. The cashback service as well as the Dify app are currently offered in Spain in beta, with more European markets to follow in the future. 

Opera delivers browsers and AI-driven digital content discovery solutions to more than 380 million MAUs worldwide. The quickly growing company remains one of the most innovative browser creators in the world. Opera is listed on Nasdaq under the OPRA ticker symbol.

The internet giant launched Dify in Spain last month and the fintech’s first offering is an in-browser cashback service for online shopping as well as a Dify Wallet app, which provides Opera’s large user base with access to a personal account and a virtual Mastercard debit card. 

The browser-based fintech targets a fast-growing set of “power shoppers” whose online shopping experience would benefit from cashback offerings, a privacy-first shopping mode, a digital debit card and eventually, services like savings management, credit and investment opportunities.

Krystian Kolondra, EVP Browsers & EEA Fintech at Opera, said, “Appointing such a senior figure from the fintech and payments industry speaks to our commitment to the vertical, and to the investment and growth potential we see for Dify. Allen’s expertise will be invaluable in helping us drive the fintech division and achieve our ambition to continue to bring new services to market under the Dify brand.”

Allen Hu, EVP at Dify, said, “I am delighted to join Opera and truly excited about the opportunity Dify has to become a leader in fintech. Opera’s approach to initially offer its 50 million monthly active users in Europe an online in-browser cashback service as well as the Dify wallet app marks the start of many innovative financial services Dify will offer. 

He added, “Just as PayPal captured the fintech world initially with its online payment solutions, I see huge potential for Opera to similarly disrupt financial services and become a key fintech player through Dify.”

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Jun 11, 2021

SLK Software: Optimising performance in the digital economy

SLKSoftware
CNAInsurance
AI
Automation
2 min
Recently featured in our profile of CNA Insurance, we take a closer look at how SLK Software is powering disruption in the digital era

Established in 2000 in Bengaluru, India, SLK Software recognises that fast-paced digital transformation is creating an unprecedentedly fertile period of opportunity for global businesses.

As such, with a firm belief in the power of simplification and automation to yield new and exciting experiences, the company has been challenging the status quo for over 20 years through an approach that is:

  • Relationship oriented
  • Strategically focused on a desired outcome
  • Reliant on automation tech

Believing in purposeful automation

SLK’s specialisation in automation tech is full spectrum: artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), and more, are all part of its core competencies. 

Citing 90% productivity improvements, 30% business growth through better customer experiences, and up to 20x faster go-to-market capabilities, the reasons for its focus are clear.

The company currently serves the banking, financial services, insurance, retirement services, M&A, manufacturing, and supply chain sectors. Solutions offered include:

Accelerating workflow processes

In addition to these services, SLK offers three products/platforms: Avo Assist - RPA, Avo Assure - Test Automation, and Avo Discover - Process Discovery.

 

 

The latter is a tool specifically calibrated to enable business users an easy method for capturing document processes. This can occur across any application, with these individual tasks then seamlessly combined for both improved compliance and governance. 

Carol Castelloni, VP of Transformation at CNA Insurance, highlighted this as providing critical support in helping the company meet its business objectives:

“SLK’s Avo Discover tool accelerates how we can document workflow processes, measure impacts on enhancements, and identifies future automation opportunities.” Liberated from having to focus on these process-driven aspects of business, CNA Insurance has been able to refocus its attention on creative problem-solving instead.

Ultimately, this is the most important benefit that SLK brings: it optimises the back end so that clients can channel their energy towards what matters the most, customers.

Read more about SLK Software and CNA Insurance in the June 2021 edition of FinTech Magazine.

Pictured: SLK Software team (source)

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