Leading bike-sharing company ofo has launched its service in the city of Melaka in Malaysia. With the plan to deploy 2,000 bikes in Melaka by the end of August, ofo seeks to contribute to the government’s vision to transform Melaka into a green technology state by 2020, as per a statement.

The first batch of 500 ofo bikes are already deployed in central areas such as Jonker Street, Stadthuys Buildings and Jalan Hang Tuah. During the initial phase of operation, each ride will cost RM1 (US$0.23) per hour, with no deposit required. ofo will also be issuing users with a coupon which entitles them to a one-hour free ride by 20th Aug.

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“We are working closely with the state government to achieve their vision of building a green technology state by 2020, through the introduction of a sustainable urban transportation system,” said Lawrence Cao, Head of ofo’s APAC business. “We foresee that cycling will become a form of green transportation to enhance livability for locals and tourists, leading to a reduction in carbon emission and introduction of green practices into everyone’s daily lives.”

Taiwanese cross-border curated online marketplace Pinkoi enters Thailand

Pinkoi, a cross-border curated online marketplace for buying and selling original design products, has announced its launch in Thailand. The innovative digital community empowers designers, promotes great design, and promises consumers unique products.

Launched in 2011 at its headquarters in Taiwan, Pinkoi individually selects products to create a curated shopping experience. Most items range from original handmade or small-scale produced designs which includes clothes, shoes, bags and accessories to handcrafted stationery. The focus is on showcasing genuine products that are good-quality and design-led.

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The Pinkoi platform creates a space where independent designers are more visible than they are on catch-all shopping platforms where brand-name brands dominate or where there may be product-quality issues.

Fidor invests US$600K in 5 polytechnics in Singapore

In support of Singapore’s Smart Financial Centre initiative and growth as a regional fintech hub,  five local polytechnics have secured a partnership with German digital banking group Fidor to launch a new fintech education curriculum. This is the first time Fidor has introduced such a programme to the Asia-Pacific region.

Supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Fidor Student Academy Singapore programme will be incorporated into the curricula of banking or IT-related diploma courses offered by the five polytechnics, starting with Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).

At NP, a pilot run of this programme has commenced with 38 final-year students from the Diploma in Financial Informatics. The students are learning to develop innovative applications for the financial industry, such as bank messaging apps and e-wallets. In its full roll-out, the programme stands to benefit some 500 students across the five polytechnics.

Payback India appoints new CEO

Multi-brand loyalty programme company Payback India has announced the appointment of Gautam Kaushik as its new CEO to further its journey as a growth-oriented and consumer-centric coalition loyalty program in India.

In his capacity as the new CEO, Kaushik will be spearheading the India operations and will be leading all the critical business areas including strategic business planning and development, partner management & acquisitions and customer engagement. He aims to take Payback to the next level with expansion across new service categories and customer segments. His primary focus would be towards driving engagement through new touch points and creating transformational customer experiences.

Prior to joining Payback, Kaushik was working with American Express (AMEX) as VP and CFO, wherein he drove several potential acquisitions and strategic partnerships impacting critical business growth for AMEX in India.