[LEAP Week 9] eIQ Insights: Thailand Must Do More With Less to Achieve a Digital Economy

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ecommerceIQ, Sasin, Korn Chatikavanij

ecommerceIQ, together with Sasin SEC, created the Leadership Ecommerce Accelerator Program (LEAP) to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to successfully run an ecommerce business in the world’s fastest growing market.

As ecommerce widely becomes second nature around the world, developing countries must take charge with new models, mindsets and regulations to assist businesses in catching up with their consumers. Thailand has long been making moves towards a new economic model – Thailand 4.0.

In the ninth week of LEAP, global payments unicorn, Adyen, shared insights on the region’s check out habits and Korn Chatikavanij, former Finance Minister of Thailand, discussed the country’s much needed progression to new policies and attitudes.

1. Why a Payment Can Fail?  

Bradley Riss, Adyen Head of Business Development APAC


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Not many students in the room or across the Southeast Asia for that matter have heard about Adyen, but that’s because the global payments provider works in the background for clients such as: Uber, ofo, MANGO, Spotify, Dropbox and ZARA.

While the concept of payments may seem extremely simple for those accustomed to digital transactions, in a region where bank accounts and credit cards aren’t trusted, facilitating ecommerce payment can be tricky.

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According to the World Bank, over 150 million adults above 25 do not have a bank account and based on Adyen’s data, these are the top reasons why a payment can fail:

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The “Do not honor” or Invalid Service Code messages indicate that the customer’s card issuing bank will not validate the transaction and provide an authorization code or the credit card being used for the transaction has been rejected by the bank.

To resolve the issue, the shopper must contact their credit card issuing bank and obtain a verbal authorization code for the transaction. Once obtained, the transaction can be captured manually.

A student asks, “if my customers haven’t adopted online payments yet, what can I do as a business to facilitate transactions?”

Bradley’s reply?

You can only offer a local solution. For example, work with convenience store providers like 7-11 and allow them to facilitate transactions.”

2. Korn Chatikavanij: Technology is Coming to Save Us

Korn Chatikavanij, President of Thai Fintech Club


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The former Finance Minister of Thailand started with encouraging words about the country’s development such as the country’s national income per capita has grown by 300% from 1986 at $800 to $2,500 at 1994. But he also highlighted certain issues that have caused the government to decide that it requires a new economic model in order to keep up with the world.

The income inequality between the richest 20% and the poorest 20% has remained at a 13 times difference for the last 30 years. And while this means that the entire Thai population has benefited from the booming economy, 13 times is severely high in even the most unfair circumstances. This is especially true when looking at a developed economy such as Japans, which has an income gap of only 3 times.

What is the best solution Korn believes can tackle this problem?

Access to good education and technology.

Urbanisation in his eyes is a good thing. When farmers become city dwellers, they will have more money in their pockets because economic opportunity is better in cities. And when people have more money to spend, their behavior changes to that of an urban middle class – more leisure travel, more consumption.


And even if more farmers move to the city, the country has enough natural resources to sustain itself and for export but without technology, the Thai people cannot capture and utilize its full potential.

The way we manage a key source as a country that calls itself an agricultural center is damning.”

He is referring to the amount of natural rainfall that occurs in Thailand. If the quantity is scaled to 100 droplets, the country only uses four out of the hundred.


Korn concluded with a word of advice for the entrepreneurs and C-levels in the classroom,

Consumers don’t change just because your tech is better. They change because the service provider has not adapted to their needs.”

My Thai channel provider stopped providing me with HBO, so it was only then I finally decided to switch to Netflix and now I’m hooked because their technology is superior.

The final class of the 10-week program will conclude on Thursday November 16th, with a tour of a fulfillment center to understand how 11.11 and 12.12 campaigns impact day to day ecommerce operations. Stay tuned for next week’s takeaways and keep up with learnings from the last eight weeks.

[LEAP Week 1] eIQ Insights: The New Ecommerce Opportunity in Thailand
[LEAP Week 2] eIQ Insights: Refinement of an Ecommerce Channel Strategy
[LEAP Week 3] eIQ Insights: Market-Product Fit First Before Anything
[LEAP Week4] eIQ Insights: Central Marketing Group’s Shares Phase II of Digital Strategy
[LEAP Week 5] eIQ Insights: Startups Need to Have an Independent Source of Income to Survive
[LEAP Week 6] eIQ Insights: In Mobile Commerce, App Install is Only the Starting Point
[LEAP Week 7] eIQ Insights: Logistics and Fulfillment, The Other Side of The Ecommerce Coin
[LEAP Week 8] eIQ Insights: Looking to Succeed in Fulfillment and Logistics? Start with Data and People