Business Travel

BUSINESSNEXT Launches Smart Relationship Manager for Financial Institutions

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 26 April 2022

AI-driven, hyper-personalized Smart RM delivers 3X growth in revenue.

 BUSINESSNEXT, the world’s leading responsive composable banking platform, enriched its product portfolio further by launching Smart Relationship Manager (RM) for banking and financial services. The new age Smart RM is the conjunction of hi-tech artificial intelligence (AI) and digital banking. It provides an enhanced sales and service capabilities to the RMs, enabling them to manage 10 times more customers, impacting three times more revenue while enabling a distinctive customer experience. 

Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Sushil Tyagi, Director, CRMNEXT said, “Real-time decision making backed by data-driven contextual insights, especially in banking and financial sector is a game-changer. It puts the focus back on superior customer service as the transcending factor for banks to ensure market relevancy and accelerate profitability. I feel proud to say that the Smart RM has proven to help increase managed portfolios by 10x, boost RM productivity by 5X, and increase revenue per RM by 3X. It is an innovative product that goes a step beyond the traditional relationships and offers 360-degree view to our RMs to deliver more value.”

Some of the noteworthy features of Smart RM are:

  • AI-driven platform providing real-time contextual insights of customer profile, needs, and expectations within 100 seconds
  • Guided Action Centres bringing down the complexity and rendering hyper-personalization
  • Single console view of all the channels facilitating maximum efficiency
  • Advanced Playbooks, AI nudges, and real-time performance analytics

For a detailed view, click here. Or visit CRMNEXT on YouTube.


Singapore Takes Further Steps to Extend Vaccinated Travel Lane

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 4 March 2022

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will take further steps to extend the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) to reclaim and rebuild Singapore’s position as a premier air hub. The CAAS will extend the VTL to more cities in Malaysia, Indonesia, and India to facilitate travel and densify the Singapore air hub’s connectivity with these key markets. We will also launch VTLs from two new countries: Greece and Vietnam.

Densifying Singapore air hub’s connectivity

To further facilitate business and people-to-people flows and bring greater convenience and choice for travellers, we will deepen our air links with Malaysia, Indonesia and India. From 16 March 2022, the VTL for Malaysia will extend beyond Kuala Lumpur to include Penang, starting with four daily flights each way between Singapore and Penang. Similarly, from 16 March 2022, the VTL for Indonesia will extend beyond Jakarta to include Bali-Denpasar, starting with two daily flights from Bali-Denpasar to Singapore. The VTL for India will also extend beyond Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai to include all Indian cities. Airlines that plan to operate from these points under the VTL may submit their plans for designated flights to CAAS for approval.

The CAAS will also launch new VTLs for Greece and Vietnam. With the addition of Greece, we will have established two-way quarantine-free travel with all countries in Europe that have direct flights to Singapore. From 15 March 2022, Vietnam plans to reopen its borders for international tourism. With the launch of the VTL from Vietnam, we will restore two-way quarantine-free travel with Vietnam, which was a popular destination for many Singaporeans pre-COVID.

Travellers from Greece and Vietnam may enter Singapore under the VTL on or after 16 March 2022. Vaccinated Travel Pass (VTP) applications for these countries will open on 13 March 2022 at 1000 hours (Singapore time). Short-term visitors and work permit holders eligible to travel on the VTL[1] must apply for a VTP to enter Singapore under the VTL.  Fully vaccinated Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents, all other long-term pass holders and In-Principle Approval (IPA) holders, and children aged 12 years and below in the calendar year do not need to apply for a VTP to enter Singapore under the VTL.

Providing greater flexibility for travellers from Europe

To enable greater flexibility for travellers visiting or coming from Europe to plan their journeys, the CAAS will also broaden the travel history requirement for the VTL to include the entire European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA, which consists of the 27 European Union member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, allows the free movement of persons between these countries.

The broadening of travel history requirement will apply to travellers entering Singapore on or after 16 March 2022. With this, travellers who have been in any country in the EEA (including any transit stops) within the last seven consecutive days prior to departure to Singapore, may count his/her stay in the EEA country towards fulfilling the seven-day VTL travel history requirement.

Update on the VTL

The VTL has allowed Singapore to reopen our borders safely while managing public health risks. Under the VTL, fully vaccinated travellers from VTL countries/regions may enter Singapore without quarantine and just need to undergo COVID-19 testing. Since 8 September 2021, Singapore has established VTLs with 30 countries/regions. As at 3 March 2022, 2359 hours, the CAAS has issued 348,518 VTPs to travellers from these countries/regions for entry into Singapore between 8 September 2021 and 16 March 2022. 456,215 VTL travellers have entered Singapore. These VTL travellers comprise a) 132,099 short-term visitors; b) 119,289 long-term pass holders and IPA holders; c) 167,380 Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents; and d) 37,447 children aged 12 years and below. 


Marriott Bonvoy Portfolio of Resorts in Bali Teams Up with Bali.com for a Seamless Travel Experience amidst the Re-Opening of Bali

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 14 February 2022

Warm-Up Vacation made easy as Marriott Bonvoy guests can now book a worry-free travel arrangement all under one platform

Desa Penglipuran, Bali

With the recent announcement of the re-opening of Bali’s borders to international travelers, Marriott Bonvoy resorts in Bali, announces a strategic collaboration with Bali.com to elevate travel and quarantine experience for holidaymakers traveling into the island of the gods.

“We can identify that travel in this day and age is no longer what it used to be. With so many options on information channels and sources, it can be confusing and time consuming for travelers to navigate through reliable information. That is why, we felt it was important to provide guests with a one click travel solution. This alliance is designed to provide guests with a worry-free seamless booking journey for their mandated quarantine stay with the option of a travel visa packaged together under Marriott’s integrated platform,” said Ramesh Jackson, Area Vice President – Indonesia, Marriott International. “We have always been a firm believer on the advancement of travel recovery, and with the re-opening of Bali to international guests, we are excited to work with Bali.com,” said Ramesh further.

With the launch of this collaboration, guests will no longer have to spend valuable time researching on different platforms. Together with Bali.com, Marriott Bonvoy members will have credible access to information on the destination.

To provide a worry-free travel experience, selected Marriott Bonvoy resorts in Bali and Bali.com will be offering a one-stop booking journey that includes Warm Up vacation accommodation and express travel visa on Marriott.com, or the destination platform. The express travel visa application process will be facilitated by Bali.com.

Marriott Bonvoy Members will enjoy 10% off the express travel visa application fee should they wish to make their own visa arrangements with Bali.com.

Bali.com is Bali’s no.1 domain and the main digital gateway to Bali providing millions of visitors from over 190 countries with reliable information and handpicked services. Visitors can explore all that Bali has to offer and can then make travel planning decisions that allow for a holiday according to their preferences and expectations. The one-stop destination portal highlights the richness of the Balinese culture and promotes a greener and more sustainable future of Bali.

“Bali.com is determined to play a supporting role in facilitating the return of tourists to Bali and Indonesia overall. We had a few million visitors on Bali.com during the pandemic who were looking for information about travel and visa regulations since Indonesia closed its borders in March 2020. The interest in Bali is still strong and people want to come back. We understand the importance during these uncertain times, to provide absolutely reliable information and guide and assist our visitors to take informed choices so they can enjoy a great holiday the moment the opportunity arises to visit Bali again,” said Michael Strobel Founder of Bali.com. “Travelers are craving well researched and reliable information and travel partners, that’s why we are extremely happy to be part of this campaign and to cooperate with Marriott Bonvoy resorts in Indonesia, in providing travelers a transparent quarantine package and a seamless booking experience that includes the e-visa.” added Michael.

In an effort to further enhance travelers experience into the island, more options of hotels offering the Warm-Up Vacation package will be added in phases. Before traveling, guests are encouraged to refer to the latest travel regulations to confirm eligibility to travel and understand vaccination/testing requirements in Bali. Quarantine and travel regulations may be subject to change.

Guests can look forward to a seamless, convenient, worry-free travel and quarantine experience at CHSE-certified Marriott Bonvoy portfolio of resorts in Bali including:

  • Warm-Up Vacation Package at The St. Regis Bali Resort, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa, Sthala, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, Ubud Bali: Step aside isolation and make way for Bali warm up vacation as guests are not required to quarantine in their rooms for five days. International guests arriving into Bali are able to enjoy specially reserved indoor and outdoor resort facilities and activities.
  • Seamless Travel Experience: The collaboration with Bali.com allows guests the following booking options:
    – Warm-Up Vacation accommodation package
    – Warm-Up Vacation accommodation packaged together with express travel visa, facilitated by Bali.com.
  • Member Benefits: In addition to members’ perks and benefits, Marriott Bonvoy members can enjoy 10% off their express travel visa application fee HERE. Applicable for new and existing Marriott Bonvoy members. To join Marriott Bonvoy for free and to learn more about all the benefits, visit HERE
  • Once the quarantine is over: Now that the Warm-Up Vacation is over, it’s truly time for Bali. With exceptional adventure and curated experiences made just for you, discover firsthand the breadth of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of resorts across the island and what they have to offer.

For more information and to book your stay and express travel visa, visit HERE

For more information about visa services, visit Bali.com HERE


Corporate Travel: Travelling For Work Within APAC

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Fatihah Ramzi | 7 February 2022

With the opening of Vaccinated Travel Lanes, businesses are back to implementing business travel however, it is important to keep up with the COVID-19 measures of each country.

Despite continued restrictions relating to new COVID variants, many customers in APAC are adapting to the new normal of restrictions and regulations, and testing is now at a level for most to consider travelling. Overall consumer sentiment has become more confident as we have seen that more clients are now opting to postpone their trips rather than cancel as they did earlier during the pandemic, even though rules for various APAC countries are still constantly changing. This outlines a clear desire to return to travel and reconnect again.

The pandemic has changed the corporate travel experience and the dynamic transformation of the corporate travel industry has heightened the demand on firms to remain agile and innovative to survive. In their efforts to continuously innovate and spearhead travel recovery and growth in a COVID world, FCM has set out a roadmap for success, putting customer needs front and centre. This includes accelerated investment through a raft of new initiatives to fortify an already strong technology offering; and enhanced service capabilities to improve customer experience as we forge a path back to business travel in the months ahead.

“Two top priorities by most organizations in the new corporate travel landscape now include people-centric technology and traveller risk management.”

FCM Travel Spokesperson

As the world remerges, clients are faced with a new set of challenges: new variants and continued restrictions, geographically dispersed operations and a remote, reduced workforce are the new norm. Alongside the need for enhanced personal service and support, travel managers are also asking for powerful and intelligent tools to support their programmes that are adaptable and easy to use.

Unsurprisingly, as barriers to international movement lift and companies resume travel programmes, duty of care has been identified as a priority and will be the key to any successful corporate travel policy. This is backed by a recent survey of global travel managers in which 94% of respondents cited traveller safety as a key component for their travel programmes in the year ahead.

FCM Travel Spokesperson also added that , “Travel managers now require risk, safety and well-being to be prioritised 24/7/365 and enhanced duty of care support. This includes an improved ecosystem of communications that blends the latest technology and personal service to keep customers informed and supported at all times.”

With that being said, here are the various COVID-19 measures of the top five most popular APAC countries to travel to for business.


China

COVID Measures For Travelers

All travelers must show proof of two negative tests, PCR and antibody tests, done within 48 hours of their departure. Travelers must have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccinations at least 14 days before entering the country. They must apply for a visa in advance and present proof of immunization as well as negative testing upon arrival. At the airport, passengers are re-screened. Those who do not pass the background checks will be sent to government facilities. Upon arrival, you must then quarantine. Some locations require 14 days, while others require 21. This might happen at a government facility or in your own house.

Life has mostly returned to normal in China, but things can change quickly there: regional lockdowns have been implemented whenever new infections of the virus have emerged. The provincial government took drastic precautions after an outbreak of the Omicron type in the city of Xi’an, which is well known for its UNESCO-listed terracotta warriors, in late December 2021.

Tourism Activities

  • Due to the ongoing strict measures, tourism activities are still being held off. Will be updated once the measures in China have eased or lifted.

Hong Kong

COVID Measures For Travelers

In light of recent developments in the worldwide and local COVID-19 epidemics, the government has enacted a number of border control procedures for inbound travelers in order to create an anti-epidemic barrier and prevent the spread of cases. Upon arrival, all inbound travelers must pass temperature tests and complete health declarations. Those who show signs of illness will be referred to the Department of Health for further treatment.

Travellers will be obliged to stay in a specified quarantine hotel for 14 days, undertake six tests throughout the mandatory quarantine period, which comprises professional swab testing, self-monitoring for the next seven days, and mandatory testing on the 16th day after arriving in Hong Kong. They will also be forced to undergo mandatory testing on their 19th day in Hong Kong [at a Community Testing Centre (CTC)]. Travelers from high-risk areas inside the selected countries, on the other hand, will be compelled to quarantine for 21 days. You can learn more about it by clicking here.

Tourism Activities

  • Due to the ongoing strict measures, tourism activities are still being held off. Will be updated once measures in Hong Kong are eased or lifted.

Malaysia

COVID Measures For Travelers

Upon arrival, all travelers must complete a COVID-19 screening test. Passengers arriving from outside Malaysia must present a negative RT-PCR test result obtained two (2) days prior to departure, otherwise their entry may be prohibited. The certificate must be presented in either digital or hardcopy format, and must be written in English or Bahasa Malaysia. All travelers must also adhere to the most recent updated quarantine regulation, which takes effect on January 24, 2022.

Passengers who are completely vaccinated and have received booster doses are only needed to quarantine for 5 days. On Day 5, as well as Day 7, they must take a PCR test, and if they test negative on the last day, they will be released from quarantine. You may find further information here if you are an unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or a vaccinated traveler who has not received a booster vaccination.

Tourism Activities

Genting Highlands – Genting Skyworlds Theme Park is set to open on 8th February 2022. The highly-anticipated theme park will be home to 9 uniquely themed worlds and spans across 26 acres, with 26 rides and attractions suitable for people of all ages. There will also be ample dining establishments, retail outlets, as well as shows and live entertainment to keep people engaged throughout their time there.

Kuala Lumpur – With VTL open to Kuala Lumpur, it can be expected that almost all their attractions are fully operational. Travelers can head down to Zoo Negara Malaysia where they can get to see over 5137 specimens from 476 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. But of course, a trip to KL is not complete without doing a bit of shopping. Pavilion KL is one of the largest shopping destinations, covering a whopping 1.37 million sq. ft. that opened in 2007, while accommodating 450+ retail stores. It is definitely a mall that travelers should not miss!

Malacca – Malacca has the most dominant Peranakan culture in Southeast Asia. The land is filled with the history of “Baba-Nyonya”. One of the places tourists definitely should not miss is the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum. There, people will be transported back to the year 1865 where they will step into the home of Baba Chan Cheng Siew whose eclectic taste offers a glimpse into the richness of the culture and the opulence that was fashionable in many pre-World War II Peranakan homes.

Singapore

COVID Measures For Travelers

Travelers intending to enter Singapore will do so through a Safe Travel Lane arrangement, with various entrance procedures and health controls based on the traveler’s profile and travel history. If you are traveling from the United States, the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) allows you to enter Singapore without having to go through quarantine, but you must undergo frequent testing. The VTL is also available to accompanying unvaccinated children aged 12 and under.

If you are unvaccinated, partially vaccinated or vaccinated without booster, you may be denied entry to Singapore or may have to adhere to the quarantine order. If you are not from the United States and would like to find out more, you can click on this link.

Tourism Activities

Marina Bay – At Marina Bay, travelers will find one of the most famous gardens in the world, Gardens By The Bay. There are two conservatories, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, and the OCBC Skyway where people can get to walk 22 metres above ground on a 128m-long aerial walkway suspended between two Supertrees. At the Flower Dome, people can get up-close with unusual plants native to a range of unique habitats from the Mediterranean region, to South African savannahs and arid deserts. At the Cloud Forest, travelers will see one of the world’s largest indoor waterfalls and a lush mountain clad with plants from around the world.

Sentosa – With many tourist attractions on just one island, everyone can find a plethora of activities to do at Sentosa. From water activities to theme parks as well as thrilling land activities, Sentosa is a must visit. For water activities, people can check out Hydrodash, Adventure Cove and their 3 different beaches; 2 are open to the public whilst one is a private beach. For land activities, tourists can check out Skypark Sentosa by AJ Hackets. For those who are looking for a family friendly activity, definitely check out The Luge.

Jurong East – Sprawling lush green meadows, stone arches, park benches, bridges, ponds, and gazebos adorn the Japanese & Chinese Garden where people usually enjoy leisure strolls and day picnics. For those who would like to immerse themselves in nature as well as enjoy cultural architectural designs of China and Japan, this garden is a must visit. For travelers who would like to try being Einstein for a day, Science Centre Singapore is where people will get to enjoy interactive exhibits and galleries.

Thailand

COVID Measures For Travelers

Passport holders from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia are exempt from obtaining a visa when visiting Thailand for tourism purposes, and are allowed to stay in Thailand for up to 45 days per visit. Tourists from non-visa-exempt countries can apply for a Special Tourist Visa (STV), which is valid for 90 days and can be renewed twice. An STV must be obtained from a Thai consulate or embassy in your home country.

Prior to their trip, all travelers must apply for a “Thailand Pass.” Foreign visitors must submit proof of an insurance coverage that covers Covid-19 therapy up to the cost of $50,000 as part of the “Test & Go ” scheme’s entry requirements. All passengers must show documentation of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their departure. International travelers who are fully vaccinated can also visit Thailand under the “Sandbox Program,” which requires them to remain for at least seven days in one of six designated areas, including Krabi, Phang-Na, Phuket, Ko Samui, Ko Pha-ngan, or Ko Tao.

Travelers who have not been vaccinated must spend 10 days in a government-approved quarantine facility or an Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility. This can include high-end hotels, some of which offer quarantine services. You can see a complete list of participating hotels and resorts, as well as package rates, here: asq.locanation.com.

Tourism Activities

Phuket – Known for its beautiful beaches, islands and caves, Phuket is a must stop for those who love nature and adventure. Phi Phi Islands are a beautiful archipelago made of fantastic beaches and immense cliffs over two bays where people can admire from a famous viewpoint. Phi Phi is also renowned among young crowds for those legendary beach parties lasting all night long. The best time to visit is during the high season, from December to May.

Krabi – When in Krabi, their water sports is definitely a must go. Water sports like white water rafting is a tourist favorite. With the challenge of navigating through rapid waters and enjoying drops while heading downstream, white water rafting is definitely not for the faint hearted. For those who are not a fan of water, ATV courses in Krabi are definitely worth the try. Hop on a powerful ATV and start the day on an off-road trail leading you through local farms, jungle and plantations.

Bangkok – Bangkok is extremely rich in culture and the best place to experience the rich history of Thailand. They have multiple religious sites all across the city and are filled with wonderful street markets where people can try local foods and purchase local items. Some of the worthwhile places to visit are Wat Phra Chetuphon, one of the oldest and largest temples in Bangkok as well as Chatuchak Weekend Market which has more than 10,000 shops and stalls offering a wide range of products from Thai handicrafts, handmade products, clothing, accessories, arts and painting as well as souvenirs.


With business travel slowly becoming more accessible, employees must still do their part of assuring safety and preventing the further spread of the virus. The necessary precautions must be taken and throughout the trip, adhering to the country’s COVID-19 regulations should be their top priority. With the information above, employees can better prepare for their upcoming travel.


Synpulse to supercharge the financial services industry’s rapid demand for digital transformation with the launch of Synpulse8

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 18 January 2022

Synpulse combines consulting, design, and engineering to offer innovative digital experiences for clients and their customers.

Global management consultancy firm Synpulse has expanded its technology offerings with Synpulse8, a technology powerhouse that caters specifically to the rapidly growing digital needs of clients in the financial services industry. 

Synpulse8 offers customers innovative and end-to-end solutions to meet their business needs – from developing bespoke products to providing customised services that enhance customer experience and drive business to the next level. The technology powerhouse features three key components: Ecosystem Partner Integration, Bespoke Engineering, and Technology Advisory.

Ecosystem Partner Integration encompasses a range of software from over 100 relevant technology partners and implements the right solutions for clients; Bespoke Engineering works with clients to build tailor-made technology solutions from the ground up; Technology Advisory provides clients advice on elements such as technology strategy, IT operating models, architecture security and big data. The experts who provide such services are a global group of highly skilled talents – including designers, data scientists, software engineers and solution architects – who work jointly to deliver quality solutions that complement clients’ needs.

“Having been consulting the financial service industry for the past 25 years, we have observed that next to traditional consultancy, our clients are keen on outcome-based, turnkey digital solutions. This is why we put Synpulse8 at the core of our new strategy”, said Yves Roesti and Konrad Niggli, Managing Partners and Co-CEOs of Synpulse Group. “In order to remain competitive, technology adoption is no longer an option but a necessity. With Synpulse8, we now deliver a complete suite of services to our clients through the combination of strategy, design, and implementation.”

The technology powerhouse has been operating under the Synpulse brand before officially being named Synpulse8. It is already working with renowned industry partners to offer enhanced expertise and solutions to clients who include some of the top global and regional financial institutions around the world. The new Synpulse8 proposition will be co-led by Salomon Wettstein in the Asia-Pacific region and Raphael Bianchi in Europe and the US.

Salomon Wettstein, Partner of Synpulse, said: “At Synpulse, our goal has always been to help our clients address challenges and seize opportunities that will transform their business. Synpulse8 enables us to take a significant step further by complementing our consultancy expertise with deep technical know-how to implement strategies and make them come to life. What also excites us is the potential for Synpulse8 to constantly produce innovative and industry-relevant products that will future-fit organisations and enhance their positions in the global market. This would not be possible without our talented team of technology experts who have extensive knowledge about what they do. With them, so much is possible, and we look forward to delivering exceptional digital experiences for the financial services industry.”

“With innovation at the heart of Synpulse, Synpulse8 adds significant value to our existing suite of solutions as we develop and challenge traditional ways of working in the financial industry”, said Raphael Bianchi, Partner of Synpulse. “This is just the beginning for us – we anticipate rapid growth of products and services as we continue to explore collaborations within our ecosystem and with our alliance partners around the world. As the global financial industry continues to evolve with the current and new players, Synpulse8 will serve as the innovation driver to propel them ahead.”  

For more information, please visit: synpulse8.com


IMA Introduces Remote Proctoring of CMA, CSCA Exams

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DigitalCFO Newsroom | 11 January 2022

New feature will be available for January-February CMA testing window

IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), the global association of accountants and financial professionals in business, announced today that its CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) and CSCA® (Certified in Strategy and Competitive Analysis) English language exams are now available globally where IMA does business via remote proctoring. Beginning January 18, candidates can register for the exams in any testing window to be taken remotely without having to go to a Prometric Test Center. This will be an additional option for those who do not have convenient access to a Test Center or who prefer to take the exams from home.

In order to participate in remote proctoring, candidates will need to register with IMA for the CMA exam or the CSCA exam, and then schedule a date and time for their exam with Prometric, ICMA’s (Institute of Certified Management Accountants) test administration partner, using its ProProctor™ remote assessment platform. Remote proctoring will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Given the ongoing challenges of the pandemic and the recent advances in remote testing, it is an appropriate time for us to begin remote proctoring for our CMA and CSCA candidates,” said

Dennis Whitney, CMA, senior vice president, certifications, exams, & content integration at IMA. “In 2022, we begin celebrating the 50th anniversary of the CMA program. Remote proctoring is one in a series of continuous enhancements to the CMA program that makes it the leading advanced certification for accounting and finance professionals in business.”

The CMA certification is the global benchmark for management accountants and financial professionals. The two-part exam tests 12 competencies and earning the CMA can give professionals greater credibility, higher earning potential, and ultimately, a seat at the leadership table. The CSCA certification is available to CMAs and complements and expands their strategic planning and analysis skills.

Registration for remote proctoring will be available on January 18. For more information on the remote proctoring process and what is involved, please visit the FAQ page on IMA’s website.


Following the Covid data incident, the US will change its travel advisory for Singapore

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Qinthara Fasya | 10 January 2022

The decision comes after the CDC reclassified its Covid recommendation for Singapore earlier this week, saying the situation there was “unknown.”

In an emailed response to Bloomberg on Thursday (Jan 6), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it is working with Singapore’s Ministry of Health on Covid-19 testing findings and would update its Travel Health Notice for the Southeast Asian country accordingly.

The decision comes after the CDC downgraded its Covid recommendation for Singapore earlier this week, saying the situation there was “unknown.”

According to a second statement from the CDC to Bloomberg at the time, the issue was a lack of testing findings collected earlier from aggregator Our World in Data.

Officials in Singapore were taken aback by the designation. The city-state maintains significantly stronger testing and social distancing requirements than the United States, and its Ministry of Health publishes precise viral statistics online every day in English.

Singapore responded by saying it will share its Covid data with the CDC and the US embassy in Singapore. On January 5, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung told reporters, “Just to be clear, we know our condition extremely well.”

“The US CDC is not aware of our surveillance test statistics,” said Ong, co-chair of the multi-ministerial commission on Covid-19, adding that the prevalence of Covid-19 in our community is now “low and steady.”