social commerce payments in Southeast Asia

Facebook is targeting social commerce payments in Southeast Asia with a new trial that allows users to pay for products listed on Facebook Pages with just a few clicks.

The social network is running a trial in Thailand which allows users to make a payment to a Page owner without leaving the social network.

Qwik is a product powered by Southeast Asia-based fintech company 2C2P, one of the most popular payment solutions tailored for the local needs of Asian and international businesses operating in Asia Pacific. Qwik allows users to make payment via a credit card, debit card or bank transfer online, according to numerous sources with knowledge of the trial.

Social dominance in Asia is already well known and its influence extends to commerce, with many small and independent retailers using Facebook Pages to build and engage their audience and, of course, sell products.

The process of buying from social – browsing, reaching the seller through the message button, requesting bank account details, doing the transfer on an ATM, etc. – is hugely cumbersome for the customer in emerging markets as majority do not own credit cards, nor are familiar with internet banking but the fact is, people are so keen to buy online that they’ll jump through all types of hoops to do so.

This trial, which is somewhere in the alpha stage, is an early indicator of Facebook’s intent to keep all the processes of the social commerce transaction on its platform. Either way, this trial is the loudest signal to date of Facebook’s interest in social commerce payments in Southeast Asia and potentially other parts of Asia and emerging markets. The company has already dabbled with commerce with a feature to let users find local services which is currently being tested in India and Indonesia. While the technology behind Qwik is hardly revolutionary, entering the payment space is a major move.

A version of this appeared in Tech Crunch on June 9. Read the full article here.

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