USTP Trailblazers win Best Innovation Solution for Finance

By Lea May N. Caburatan, USTP System STRATCOMM

The University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) Trailblazers team won the Best Innovation Solution for Finance award during the recent innovation competition held on April 22, 2024, at Novotel, Manila Araneta, Quezon City, to celebrate National Innovation Day.

The USTP Trailblazer team is composed of students Rave Arao (USTP Cagayan de Oro), Even Mae Gumaling (USTP Villanueva), and Josefina Shajee Gaguan (USTP Claveria), with Engr. Alex L. Maureal, Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation of USTP CDO, as their mentor.

The competition centered on the theme, “Unboxing the Filipino Mindset,” where participants tackled challenges in critical fields of Learning and Education, Food and Agri-Business, Transportation and Logistics, Environment, and Finance. A total of 37 teams, comprising 2 to 3 students from different Philippine institutions, participated in the event.

KwartAlert: Shielding Users from Online Scams

The USTP team developed KwartAlert, a groundbreaking app designed to combat the prevalent issue of online scammers who send malicious links via SMS or email to access digital wallets or banks from users. The app leverages advanced machine learning to analyze and flag potentially malicious links, ensuring users can navigate their digital lives safely. When a risky link is detected, KwartAlert prompts the user with a detailed pop-up, explaining the danger and offering a choice to avoid potential threats. Moreover, the app encourages community involvement where users can report suspicious links, enhancing the app’s scam detection capabilities over time. The innovation not only boosts awareness but also fosters a safer environment for everyone.

The recognition received by the team highlights the practicability and effectiveness of their solution for real-world problems, specifically in tackling significant issues on financial digital security.

The team’s achievement aligns with the goals of the Philippine Innovation Act (Republic Act 11293), which aims to foster a culture of innovation across various sectors of society. Their success at the event underscores the potential impact of academic contributions to national and individual security concerns in the digital age.

The National Innovation Day demonstrates the critical role of academic institutions in honing the skills of young innovators in advancing national development. USTP continues to provide opportunities for its students to innovate solutions for pressing issues. The recognition received is a testament to the Filipino students’ ingenuity and capacity to make significant contributions to the tech-driven landscape of modern finance security.