Line, Facebook look to benefit as online shopping via mobile devices takes off
Three new e-payment services from Line and Facebook will become available to Thai mobile users by the end of this year, as the social-media companies gear up with a view to tapping into high growth potential in the domestic market.
Jin-Woo Lee, chief executive officer of Rabbit Line Pay, told the “Thailand E-commerce Summit 2016” that the company would provide two new services in the near future under the Rabbit Line Pay brand, enabling mobile payments via a smart phone using any operating system.
Mobile users will simply need to download the Rabbit Line Pay application to their device in order to use the system, he said, adding that the new payment services would be piloted at retail outlets such as McDonald’s in August.
“I believe Thailand is the first country in which we will provide the new e-payment service. In the next couple of months, we will test it with retail shops, and then with the Skytrain in December, before making it
officially available in the market,” the CEO said. Another new offering under Rabbit Line Pay services is a logistics service available to mobile users who already have the Rabbit Line Pay app.
Under the logistics service, the company has joined hands with Kerry to deliver products to customers when they order from the Line shop. Kerry will provide a same-day delivery service for users located in Bangkok, with cash on delivery being a payment option. The new service will initially be available in Bangkok.
“For Line, Thailand is the second biggest market, after Japan. I believe there is high market potential in Thailand for the provision of services that support mobile users in a simple and convenient way,” Lee said.
The company is currently working with four commercial banks – Siam Commercial Bank, TMB Bank, Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank – to support e-payment transactions under its new offerings, he added.
Line now has around 40 million users in Thailand, the chief executive said.
Onsite social commerce
Rathiya Issarachaikul, manager SMB (small and medium-sized businesses) at Facebook Thailand, saidFacebook would be offering a new e-payment service under what it termed “onsite social commerce”, which would allow users to buy and pay for products via their Facebook home page.
The service will provide easy access to chat and respond quickly, with the emphasis on “human-touch services to support the customer journey”, with everything able to be done on the Facebook platform with no shopping card and the initiation of a transaction basically being done by chat, she said.
Users can experience the concept at m.me/myshop, she added.
“Social commerce has come to our region, Southeast Asia, [for which it is] an emerging market. Facebookhas 40 million Thai monthly users, and 1.55 billion global monthly users,” Rathiya said.
Facebook is rumoured to be testing the onsite social-commerce market in Thailand, and will provide its new e-payment services via a 2C2P application.
Meanwhile, PwC conducted its annual “Total Retail” survey in April, in which it questioned 23,000 shoppers in 25 countries around the world and found Thailand to be the leader in terms of the ratio – 51 per cent – for those having bought products by interacting with merchants on social media.
India had the next highest ratio at 32 per cent, followed by Malaysia (31 per cent) and China (27 per cent), the survey found. An analyst told the summit that the giant social-media firms would now increasingly tap into the potential offered by Thai mobile usage, in light of behavioural change towards shopping via social media and mobile devices.