Here’s what you should know today:

1. Apple continues to push Apple Pay in China

Apple is launching a large-scale promotion by offering special discounts for consumers who use its mobile payment method in mainland China, where the landscape are currently dominated by rival Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Between July 18 and 24, consumers using Apple Pay will get discounts of up to 50% and as much as 50 times of reward points for credit cards, according to Apple’s official Chinese website.

There are a total of 28 offline retail stores and 16 online merchants participated, including 7-Eleven, Starbucks, bike-sharing app Mobike, as well as The campaign is part of Apple strategy to wins market share in China.

However, it is hard to say how well will they fare since unlike Alipay and WeChat Pay that could be installed in every smartphone, Apple Pay is limited by device availability.

Read the full story here

2.  Bank Indonesia published a new regulation for National Payment Gateway

Central Bank of Indonesia published a new national payment gateway regulation in a bid to provide an efficient and secure payment system for banking customers in the country.

The regulation seeks to make transactions easier and cheaper for banking customers by allowing all electric money, debit and credit cards of any issuers to be accepted at any automatic teller machine, electronic data capture device or payment gateway in the archipelago once the regulation is fully implemented.

There are currently hundreds of debit card issuers, 26 credit card issuers and 25 electronic money issuers in Indonesia, with most of them being local players. According to the new regulation, foreign principals need to work with local switching companies.

Other countries that has implemented the system including China (with China Union Pay), Malaysia (MyCard) and Japan (JCB). However, it will be awhile to integrate the system nationwide in Indonesia due to its big population.

Read the full story here

3. Blue Apron shares fall as Amazon file for meal-kit trademark

Blue Apron shares tumbled more than 11% to $6.51, nearly 35% since its IPO price of $10. The decline came as investors were concerned about its future and the impact of Amazon’s planned $13.7 billion acquisition of supermarket chain Whole Foods.

In a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Amazon registered a trademark application for “prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables” that is ready for cooking and assembly as a meal. Amazon’s planned service is identical to the one currently offered by Blue Apron.

Last week, startup offering similar service in Jakarta, BlackGarlic, has just closed down due to the high customer acquisitions cost.

Read the full story here.

Here are the key headlines for today:

1. Apple Pay and Android Pay purchases may hit $8 billion by 2018

In-app purchases and website retail payments are projected to drive annual spend via Apple Pay and Android Pay up to $8 billion in 2018, up from $540 million this year. Read the rest of the story here.


2. Frost & Sullivan: Southeast Asia’s ecommerce market to surpass $25 billion by 2020 

Despite the region’s market challenges, Frost & Sullivan has forecasted that Southeast Asia will continue on the path of rapid growth, with B2C ecommerce to lead the way. Read the rest of the story here.


3. Indonesia’s Fintech investments to reach $8 billion in two years

According to The Indonesian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), transactions through fintech in have escalated along with the number of people going online. Read the rest of the story here.


4. Google takes on Uber with the launch of its new ride-sharing service

Google is moving onto Uber’s turf with a ride-sharing service to help San Francisco commuters join carpools through Alphabet, at a cheaper rate. Read the rest of the story here.


5. Southeast Asia’s VCs join forces to boost startups

The new group was started by Indonesian venture capital association Amvesindo and its pendant in Singapore, SVCA. Read the rest of the story here.

After Android Pay launched in in Singapore in June, Apple Pay picks up its Asia strategy and was rolled out on Wednesday in Hong Kong to eligible cardholders of American Express, Visa and MasterCard.

The city is the third major market in the Asia-Pacific where the contactless mobile payment service, introduced by Apple about 20 months ago, has been launched this year following mainland China and Singapore.

There are an estimated 10,000 merchant locations in Hong Kong that accept Apple Pay, and more than 10 million in all nine major markets where the service has launched so far.

Apple Pay uses so-called near-field communications technology built into iPhones and Apple Watch to allow for contactless payment in stores, which have the contactless point-of-sale terminals to support the service.

Participating banks in the city include Standard Chartered, DBS, Hang Seng Bank, HSBC, Bank of East Asia and BOC Credit Card, a subsidiary of Bank of China (Hong Kong).

Consumers in Hong Kong are used to more familiar payment options, such as Octopus cards. Plenty of merchants are also wary of making new investments in contactless point-of-sale terminals.

Alipay, the online payments platform run by Alibaba Group affiliate Ant Financial Services, is betting on that same trend as it plans to partner with one million offline merchants over the next three years, enabling Chinese tourists to make payments abroad using its mobile wallet service.

Visa Hong Kong has published a list of local retailers offering Apple Pay here, and Mastercard Hong Kong has published a list of local retailers offering Apple Pay here.

Excerpts were taken from the SMCP on July 20. Read the full article here.

Yoyo Wallet, the European mobile payments and rewards app is making a late entry into Asia, using Singapore as its foray into the region, reports Tech In Asia.

Yoyo Wallet will join an already crowded space, filled with Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Android Pay, but claims that it will be the first platform in the market to combine payment with loyalty and provide value to both retailers and customers.

Yoyo will initially only work at Foodclique, a food court at the National University Of Singapore. In the UK, Yoyo Wallet also has presence at numerous universities, offering students an e-payment option for their lunches.

How Does Yoyo Wallet Work?

Payments made using Yoyo Wallet are processed via a QR Code on the app which is then scanned by the shop assistant on the cash register. For every transaction made through the platform, users can collect loyalty points and personalized discounts.

Yoyo wallet launches in Singapore


The payment itself is an enabler to a new buying experience where loyalty is automated and personalized. The platform want to move away from cash, stamp cards, loyalty cards and paper receipts.

Alain Falys, CEO of Yoyo Wallet states that the platform typically enjoys the highest share of checkout (30%) versus cash, cards or Apple Pay.

Yoyo Wallet also provides insights for retailers. The platform offers Yoyo Engage, a web tool that aims to help companies understand their consumers better, along with tools to assist in engagement. An example of this feature would be a merchant using this tool to target customers that prefer drinking lattes before 9am, and sending out personalized promotional offers. The platform leverages from big data and targeted communications to drive sales, and it’s effective.

Like a lot of Western startups cautiously experimenting with Asia, Yoyo Wallet plans to use Singapore as a hub, and will consider expansion in other Asian countries once it strikes gold in Singapore.

A version of this appeared in Tech In Asia on July 13. Read the full version here.

Android Pay launches in Singapore

Android Pay being used to make a purchase. Source: Straits

Android Pay launches in Singapore but faces an uphill battle. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are already widely adopted in the Singaporean market and penetration of contactless POS systems (the tapping system that is integral to Singapore debit cards payments) is also not as high as it should be. Lastly, most cheaper Android phones simply do not have the right functionalities, which requires at least a version 4.4 KitKat and near field communications (NFC) capabilities, reported Forbes today.

Most interesting is the ecommerce potential. Google will launch Android Pay for in-app purchasing in the coming months and has announced Deliveroo, Grab, Shopee, Singapore Airlines, Uber and Zalora will be integrating in-app payment via Android Pay into their services.

Singapore will be the first Asian market to gain access to Android Pay with Singaporeans able to load Visa and  Mastercard credit and debit cards from six banks including DBS and Standard Chartered onto their android smartphones.

A version of this appeared in Forbes on June 27. Read the full article here.