Here’s what you should know:

1. Alibaba and Tencent similarly launch campaigns to wins over cashless customers

As Chinese’s adoption for cashless society grow, the competition heats up between the two leading mobile payment giants, Tencent’s WeChat Pay and Alipay by Alibaba.

Both company have pushed out marketing campaigns to promote their respective payment apps. Alipay named the week beginning August 1 “Cashless Week”; on the same day, WeChat Pay (under Tencent Holdings) picked one day—August 8—and declared it “Cashless Day,” and also nicknamed the entire month “Cashless Month.”

During the campaign period, both apps provide consumers with real-money incentives to reward them for going cashless shopping with their apps.

So far, Alipay still dominates the market as 80% of Chinese consumers are using Alipay as the primary mobile payment app in China. WeChat Pay’s adoption rate is  25%.

Read the full story here

2. Uniqlo launches vending machines for its clothes

The company are launching vending machines called Uniqlo To Go for its items of functional clothes.

The first venue chosen for the machine is the Oakland International Airport in California, and Uniqlo will roll out nine more at airports and shopping malls around the US, this month.

The machines can also give Uniqlo insight on US consumers, which Uniqlo has been trying to reach—not always successfully—for years. Currently Uniqlo is the third largest brand, behind H&M and Zara.

Read the full story here.

3. Tmall wants to bring ‘car vending machines’ to China

Car-shopping in China might be getting easier as Tmall is looking to bring ecommerce experience of buying cars to the next level with the “Automotive Vending Machine.”

According to Yu Wei, general manager of Tmall’s automotive division, the company hopes to launch the first such vending machine in China later this year. There is currently one operated by another company in Singapore.

Customers could also pay it in installments through Alipay if they have over 750 points on Sesame Credit, Alibaba’s credit-scoring system for consumers.

Read the full story here.

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Cyber attack ‘WannaCry worm’ spurs concern for critical infrastructure

A Thai cybersecurity expert has urged all Window-based computer users to update their software to defend against the latest global cyberattack, which has already hit more than 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries.

“We should be vigilant and well-|disciplined in protecting the country’s critical infrastructure such as ATMs, airports, hospitals, telecoms, mass |transit, etc, from cyberattacks,” said Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

Thailand’s critical infrastructure was vulnerable, according Prinya Homanek, president and founder of ACIS Professional Centre and Cybertron, adding that while the risk was low, the impact would be high and widespread if critical infrastructure is hit.

This morning, it was reported that a game by Garena Thailand has been shut down as a result of the cyber attack.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Coke is hurting from the switch to online shopping

Consumers are increasingly shopping online, spending more time on mobile apps, and getting groceries delivered to their homes. And that’s hitting Coca-Cola in ways you might not expect.

As its sales slip, Coca-Cola has seen its stock decline 4.9 percent in the past year. That compares with a 15 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Fewer trips to the mall means that fewer people are buying cokes in the US

The shops themselves weren’t the problem, as they were still selling large quantities of food, but more customers were ordering online and having their meals delivered. The problem for Coca-Cola: The restaurants offered glass bottles and sizes that weren’t suited to being transported via scooter.

Read the rest of the story here.


3. Indonesian P2P lending platform Taralite raises $6.3 million

Jakarta-based P2P lending platform Taralite today announced that it has a raised a funding round from Japanese fintech conglomerate SBI Group.

According to a press statement, the valuation of the round was undisclosed, but the total commitment is $6.3 million, “including funds for Taralite’s lending services.”

Taralite plans to use the funding to build a “world class” R&D team that would build algorithm for its future plan to be a one stop shop.

The company focuses on providing working capital for small businesses that operate online. To achieve this, it partners with various online marketplaces and booking platform such as Tokopedia and Lazada. Taralite offers swift application processes and affordable loans starting from 0.99 per cent per month.

Read the rest of the story here.


4. Recommended Reading: In cashless Sweden, even God now takes collection via an app

A growing number of Swedish parishes have started taking donations via mobile apps. Uppsala’s 13th-century cathedral also accepts credit cards.

The churches’ drive to keep up with the times is the latest sign of Sweden’s rapid shift to a world without notes and coins. Most of the country’s bank branches have stopped handling cash; some shops and museums now only accept plastic.

Swedes’ aversion to cash is increasingly showing up in money supply data. According to Statistics Sweden, notes and coins in public circulation dropped to an average of 56.8 billion kronor ($6.4 billion) in the first quarter of this year.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you should know today.

1. WeChat sees bigger spenders as China goes more cashless

45% of WeChat users pay for things in stores using the messaging app’s wallet feature because they don’t even carry cash.

That’s according to a new survey out today from Penguin Intelligence. Not bothering to carry cash is the third reason cited for using WeChat to pay for their Starbucks or the groceries.

The messaging app’s 900 million monthly active users are spending more than ever using their phones, with larger transactions – of $73 and above

WeChat’s push into ecommerce and payments has put parent company Tencent on a collision course with Alibaba, which runs China’s top mobile wallet app, Alipay.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Recommended Reading: The death of retail is greatly exaggerated

What happens next? Exactly what is happening in books. The experience of clothes buying, the micro-retail experience of finding something only you know about, will become far more important.

When everyone can get Yeezys online, finding a special pair of blaze orange ones made of carbon fiber and Japanese denim that are only available at a tiny shop in Denver will be the new driving force back to retail.

Retail isn’t dying, it’s changing.

 Read the rest of the story here.


3. How wholesale brands are deciding whether or not to go direct-to-consumer

Department store retail is still a $150 billion industry. Even as that starts to decline, customer expectations around capabilities like fast shipping, free returns and otherwise smooth ecommerce experiences are increasing.

For a wholesale brand, opening a direct-to-consumer channel isn’t as simple as just flipping a switch and opening the online ordering floodgates

Read the rest of the story here


4. iFashion to raise $10m via IPO by year-end

Singapore-based online fashion platform iFashion is looking to raise about $10 million in a listing exercise that has now been pushed to the end of this year.

iFashion which is backed by internet company Fatfish Internet Group is now also weighing options to list the company in one of the European exchanges like London or Germany.

The IPO is expected to value iFashion at $40-50 million in terms of market capital.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. PromptPay is becoming more popular in Thailand

Transactions via PromptPay stood at around 15,000 a day on average last week, Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said at yesterday’s Post Today forum. “From what we have monitored, the PromptPay problems were caused by human error, not the system.”

“Even though the volume transactions keeps increasing, it only accounts for a very small portion of traffic the system can handle,” he said. Given that PromptPay’s backdoor system is scalable, the system can be upgraded to cope with a higher number of transactions in the future.”

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Gartner: Don’t expect uplift in delivery drones for years

The firm is expecting delivery drones to make up less than one per cent of the commercial drone market by 2020, asserting that it does not expect them to be “a major factor for several years”.

The firm expects that delivery drones will begin finding a niche in business to business applications first, particularly for internal services within one company where logistics will not be such a big factor.

Read the rest of the story here.


3.  Recommended Reading: Hermès Sales Gain Adds Evidence of Luxury Recovery in China

Chinese shoppers are shopping again.

Hermes International SCA added to evidence of a luxury rebound as shoppers in Asia buy more silk scarves and Birkin handbags.

At Hermes, revenue growth in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, slowed to 4% from 14.2% the previous quarter. The slowdown is due to lower inventories in leather goods after the company ramped up output and sales with new production sites earlier last year.

Read the rest of the story here.

Wrapping up for the day? Read today’s key stories here.

1. Go-Jek is focusing on its e-payment platform, Go-Pay

It’s been available for a while, but a recent campaign successfully drove usage to a tipping point.

Whenever you pay for a ride or service in cash, the Go-Jek driver will ask you if you want to store the change in the form of Go-Pay for future use. If you agree, the driver gets a bonus and you get discounts on your upcoming rides.

Read the rest of the story here.


2. Cashless society push will speed smart city development in Malaysia

Malaysia’s Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC), smart city enabler Cyberview and Mastercard have signed an agreement to support the Malaysian government’s push towards a cashless society.

Read the rest of the story here


3. DHL taking part in drone tests

In addition to assessing the drones’ suitability for delivering parcels in urban areas, the project will examine if Deutsche Telekom’s mobile network can be used to connect unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the mobile internet.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s your weekend round-up of newsworthy ecommerce headlines. Read on below.

1. Amazon is planning to open 100 pop-up stores in US shopping malls

The pop-up stores reflect the company’s growing drive to reach consumers directly through a variety of access points including retail storefronts. Read the rest of the story here.


2. Shop and Kaymu tying up with banks and post offices for online payments

Rocket Internet’s incubated online marketplaces and are in talks with banks to set up new payment systems as more users are signing up online. Read the rest of the story here


3. Southeast Asia’s shopping site iPrice has added a ‘price comparison’ function

The feature works in two ways. If you look at a product, iPrice will pull up a list of related variants to help you to easily find the exact one of your choice. Secondly, it pulls in additional information like delivery time, delivery cost and payment options into a single view. Read the rest of the story here.


4.  Alphabet teams up with Chitpole to deliver burritos in Virginia Tech

Google parent Alphabet Inc. plans this month to use drones to deliver burritos to a small number of staff and students at Virginia Tech, a limited test of the tech giant’s ambitious plans to quicken deliveries with unmanned aircraft. Read the rest of the story here.


5.  Thailand’s aim for a ‘cashless society’ hits a slowdown amidst concerns over security

Some people point out that cybercriminals are very sophisticated and they doubt that banks have enough resources to fully shield customers from these risks. Read the rest of the story here.