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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.

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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

Welcome back from the holidays, here are the latest ecommerce headlines to keep your mind refreshed for 2017:

1. 2016 WeChat Data Report reveals some interesting numbers

  • 768,000,000 daily logged in users
  • 35% YoY growth
  • 50% of users use WeChat 90mins a day
  • 67% YoY of total messages sent per day

2,350,000,000 ‘red packets’ (money) were sent over Lunar New Year’s Eve

As chat and mobile adopting grows in Southeast Asia, it is expected that more brands will begin selling on these platforms such as LINE. Consumers are already familiar with sending money through chat apps, why wouldn’t they feel comfortable making a purchase?

Find the rest of the report here.

 

2. Alibaba’s on-demand services arm, Koubei, raised funding?

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s on-demand services unit is close to securing $1.2 billion of funding for expansion after getting backing from first-time investors including Silver Lake Management and China’s sovereign wealth fund, people familiar with the matter said.

The latest round for Koubei, which deals in local services such as food delivery, will surpass a $1 billion target with backing from China Investment Corp., according to the people, who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The round also includes Yunfeng Capital, a fund backed by Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, and values the two-year-old startup at about $8 billion, they said.

Koubei was set up by Alibaba and its financial services affiliate Ant Financial to compete with Meituan Dianping, a company valued at $18 billion in 2015 that deals in businesses such as movie ticketing and group-buying discounts. O

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Thailand 4.0, are you ready?

The government launched a new flagship policy called Thailand 4.0 that will be the master plan to free Thailand from the middle-income trap, making it a high-income nation in five years.

Thailand 4.0 has in fact become the buzzword among Thai businesses, recognised as a new engine of growth that will drive the country’s economy forward through high-tech industries and innovations that will push Thailand to produce high valued-added products and services.

Chen Namchaisiri, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI):

“The hardest thing is how to change the attitude of the Thai people and also the Thai industry. It is difficult to make them see that they need to be high-tech.”

Mr Chen said the government should support the development of online facilities in order to help expand ecommerce, e-payment, e-learning and e-documents, which will lead Thailand into a fully online platform to meet the 4.0 era.

Read the rest of the story here.


Thanks for joining us for the new year. If you enjoy reading insight articles, head to our Research & Insights section here.

Thailand’s information and technology spending is on track for double-digit growth this year, helped by the national e-payment scheme and the development of Thailand 4.0 initiative, reports the Bangkok Post.

Thailand 4.0 refers to the development of a value added economy of innovation and creativity, a government backed initiative.

“The growth is to come from both the public and private sectors, especially the financial sector,” said Supakit Tiyawatchalapong, managing director of Computer Union. Despite the economic slowdown, both agencies and private firms are increasingly moving towards modernizing their systems to survive in the new era of competition and growth.

Modernising data infrastructure, especially data centre updates and consolidation, adopting cloud computing technology and big data analytics can cut costs and enhance business agility.

Businesses are shifting IT budgets to software and IT services to enable infrastructure management, rather than only build hardware.

Andrew Yeong, general manager of Asia-Pacific for Lexmark International said that the company is now offering enterprise solutions to help users manage their documents.

“A mobile workforce needs access to information any time, anywhere. More and more employees rely on mobile devices to work,” he says.

However, despite the positive outlook for Thailand’s IT sector, it appears that the country knows very little about the government’s 4.0 initiative. According to a survey carried out by the Thai Chamber of Commerce, 58% of respondents in the SME sector said they do not know much about Thailand 4.0.

What is Thailand 4.0?

According to Bangkok Post, Thailand 4.0 is the vision of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his government to revamp the economy so it is driven by creativity and innovation. The goal is to move the country out of the middle-income trap.

Thailand 1.0 was retroactively used to describe the period when agriculture was the major economic driver while 2.0 focused on light industries. Thailand 3.0 relied on heavy industries and exports.

A version of this appeared in The Bangkok Post on September 1. Read the full version here

Thailand recently unveiled a 4.0 economical model to develop Thailand into a valued-based economy, according to Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, reports Retail News Asia.

Thailand 4.0 will change the country’s traditional farming to smart farming, traditional SMEs to smart enterprises, and traditional services to high-value services.

The aim is to create creativity and innovation through the application of technology.

As The Nation comments, the challenge of this model is getting the country to come out of its middle income trap.

The government wishes to see farmers become entrepreneurs and SMEs to branch out of being tied to government assistance and to become startups that grow beyond their potential growth areas.

Thailand 4.0 comes after three prior economic models

  • Thailand 1.0 focused on agricultural development
  • Thailand 2.0 focused on upgrading low income households reach middle-income
  • Thailand 3.0 emphasized on  the growth of the industrial industry

The Prime Minister sees 10 target industrial groups to be the new engines of Thailand’s growth, including seven industries that are considered the backbone of the country’s new digital economy.

Ex. the government’s e-wallet platform, PromptPay is an integral part of Thailand’s 4.0 plan to drive the country forward.

Even if this initiative kicks off, the country would not see results for another three to five years. Unless the country makes it a sustainable national aim, the blueprint is dependent on the new government’s stance on the matter, following next year’s impending election.

A version of this appeared in Retail News Asia on July 13. Read the full version here.

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