Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Alibaba looks to expand Singles Day shopping spree beyond China

this year it is launching a pilot programme targeting Singles Day shoppers in Hong Kong and Taiwan for the first time. Next year it plans to target Southeast Asia.

Fun fact: Metro, the German supermarket, last year sold 2m litres of milk to China during 11.11.

Read the rest of the story here



2. Online payment taxes coming soon to Thailand

Taxes on overseas online businesses that make transactions in Thailand will be included in new tax laws soon. The amended law will focus on taxing online payments made for goods and services, such as hotel reservations, through online payment systems such as Apply Pay, Ali Pay, V Chat Pay, financial tecnology (fintech) firms, and bitcoin payments.

Read the rest of the story here


3. 2C2P’s online-to-offline ecommerce service ‘123’, now available at over 320,000 locations

123’ is an alternative payment service which allows consumers across Southeast Asia (SEA) to pay for their online purchases at over 320,000 offline payment locations across Southeast Asia. The company is expanding to 12k+ new locations in Myanmar this year, making 123 Southeast Asia’s largest O2O Network.

Taken from press release. You can find a write-up of the story here.  



With enough liquidity, small merchants may serve as cash points in rural parts of Southeast Asia.

With only 23% ATM penetration rate (compared to global average of 70%), reports the World Bank, millions of underbanked individuals in the Philippines do not have easy access to bank branches and ATMs. But a partnership between FEXCO and ENCASH aims to tackle the low ATM penetration rate by turning mom and pop shops into ATM outlets, reported Tech Wire Asia. Imagine, suddenly, a local fruit-stand seller can be a cash point.

The Philippines has only 23.68 ATMs per 100,000 people. With an ATM penetration rate of 23%, far lower than global average of 70%.

In what is being called the “EasyDebit” solution, the plug-and-play tool allows cardholders to withdraw funds from any merchant with the device and downloadable app, which plugs into smartphones and gives cardholders cashback without having to locate an ATM. Cardholders simply swipe their cards, key in their PIN and “withdraw.” Money in the cardholder’s bank is transferred to the merchant’s account, who then gives the cash equivalent to the user.

The solution is meant to be affordable enough for small merchants through a rent-to-own scheme, which doesn’t require minimum balances or transaction amounts. And remittances from Filipino workers abroad to families in the countryside or even urban-to-rural remittances are sparking higher demand for easy cash access.

The company brings down the cost of joining a major ATM network by acting as these banks’ intermediary. FEXCO and ENCASH plan to introduce ‘EasyDebit’ in Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam after its initial run in the Philippines.

A version of this appeared in Tech Wire Asia on August 15. Read the full version here.