Payke: High Tech to Enrich the Japan Experience

Payke/SCSK and Riversoft Interviewed by the Formosa TV station.
Payke/SCSK and Riversoft Interviewed by the Formosa TV station. (Image source: Riversoft Inc.)

Payke is an innovative solution for visitors to Japan that uses product translation technology to enrich the tourism experience. Its Travel Support service adds access to travel insurance, portable Wi-Fi, and chat information and advice. Taiwanese tech specialist Riversoft has partnered with Payke creator SCSK to deliver major enhancements to the app, as CEO Alex Kuo explains.

SCSK visits Riversoft
The Payke/SCSK team visited Riversoft in Taiwan. (Image source: Riversoft Inc.)

Hello, Alex. Let’s talk about your recent collaboration with the Japanese tech company SCSK in developing the travel app Payke. Payke is a popular app, currently ranked number one in the app store for Taiwan and Hong Kong, with over 4 million users and growing. Please tell us what type of services and benefits the Payke app offers.

Payke is an app designed for travellers to Japan, with a unique product translation technology that translates all the details of a product by scanning the barcode and locating many products in Japan. It makes Payke one of the most popular apps for travellers to Japan.

Payke recently launched Payke Travel Support (PTS) as a travel service, combining insurance, portable Wi-Fi, and concierge service (chat support service). Compared to other travel insurance without coverage for the first day of the traveller’s visit, PTS can activate the day the traveller arrives in Japan. PTS also covers notifiable diseases that other travel insurance does not cover, such as COVID.

The portable Wi-Fi included in PTS’s services are Vision Inc. devices, which are high-quality, stable and fast-sharing. It is common for people to have multiple 3C products (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) per person. That’s why we choose portable Wi-Fi instead of the e-SIM network.

Chat service support is SCSK’s speciality. SCSK’s call centre consists of 5,000 employees, supports seven languages (Japanese, traditional and simplified Chinese, English, Korean, Vietnamese, and Thai) and assists with restaurant reservations, sightseeing advice, interpretation, and even lost and found items.

With these three services included, travellers only need to purchase PTS before their trip and solve most of the problems encountered during their trip.

Riversoft and SCSK have partnered to make the Payke app even more powerful. Can you tell us more about this partnership? What role does Riversoft play?

By collaborating on Payke, SCSK has integrated many services into a complete tourist service for travellers. Riversoft mainly plays the role of bridging Payke to Lion travel by API. Riversoft also assigns YC Health, its subsidiary, to act as an agent to distribute PTS in Taiwan. YC Health will start to promote PTS from December 2022 and build up a fulfilment centre to enhance customer satisfaction. In the near future, YC Health will create a marketing plan with Payke/SCSK to enlarge the market share in Taiwan.

Payke & Yuancheng contract signing
Contract signing ceremony between Payke and YC Health to promote the Payke Travel Support service. (Image source: Riversoft Inc.)

SCSK chose to collaborate with Riversoft over many other IT companies. What do you think is the unique know-how or technical edge that distinguishes Riversoft from the others?

Riversoft has a powerful booking engine that can categorise and label users based on their behaviour, recommending relevant content to users, extending their time to browse, and increasing their interest and willingness to purchase. The technology can also be applied with CRM included.  Riversoft also uses this technology for social software robots to help travel agencies manage customers and remarketing.

The two technologies are integrated to recommend shopping orders and arrange shopping routes for users. This service can provide a smooth shopping experience.

Payke has a recommendation function for products with Japanese barcodes, but not for travel products. Therefore, Riversoft will apply this technology to Payke and upgrade Payke’s shopping system to recommend related products according to users’ interests. The two technologies are integrated to recommend shopping orders and arrange shopping routes for users. This service can provide a smooth shopping experience.

In addition to shopping in Japan, we invite local travel agencies in Taiwan to join this cooperative project.  We plan to build a travel product platform on Payke and include itineraries and tickets from local travel agencies in Taiwan, so travellers can purchase itineraries and tickets directly on the app. In the future, we will further extend our cooperation to flight and accommodation packaged dynamically through joint efforts between the three parties.

Collaboration between the Lion Travel and Payke/SCSK/Riversoft. (Image source: Riversoft Inc.)
Collaboration between the Lion Travel and Payke/SCSK/Riversoft. (Image source: Riversoft Inc.)

Did you encounter difficulties working with SCSK in adding value to Payke?

Riversoft has a comprehensive vertical integration capability, dedicated to tourism for over ten years. With the project with SCSK, the most challenging point is not the interconnection of data and technologies but the conception and development of a complete set of tourism services across Taiwan and Japan. 

In the Payke app, they already have insurance, Wi-Fi, and call centre services, and we add medical care to provide a second-opinion service for travellers to Japan. On the other hand, we wish to establish the same model for inbound travellers to Taiwan. To Riversoft, the most difficult part is finding a service centre in Taiwan that complies with SCSK’s SLAs. We are now dealing with Lion Travel, Far Eastern Group, Formosa TV, etc., to establish the Payke Taiwan version. 

What can we expect in the future for Riversoft and Payke?

We are ready to start the next phase of cooperation after the launch of PTS. We are also ready to make the products of local travel agencies available on the Payke app, so travellers can purchase itineraries and tickets on the Payke app.

In the future, we will further invite local travel agencies in Japan to offer their in-depth itineraries, so travellers can have a deeper travel experience. We also plan to design a new process with GFAI Robot Travel Agency to provide a tour service using LBS.

Other proposals under discussion include the weather recommendation system Netzero to recommend suitable travel dates for travellers, Airline Holiday providing Peakwork’s dynamic packaging system to SCSK’s customers, and Peach Airline for an online Travel Agent service.

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Executive Profile

Alex Kuo

Alex Kuo is the Chairman of Riversoft, a Taiwanese software company focusing on developing innovative solutions and management systems for the travel and tourism industry. Kuo has an MBA from George Washington University and is pursuing an EDBA from Université de Liège. He had over 20 years of career in the Acer group holding senior positions. Before moving to Canada, he worked in two publicly-listed tech-based companies in China for six years. Kuo has also been a venture angel supporting the growth of more than 10 companies globally.

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