For any sector to become a success, businesses and companies within the sector need to create products and services that offer something to their specific customer bases. What it takes to be successful in Malaysia is very different from the demands of succeeding in Thailand.
Even though the internet is this globally-connecting digital entity, there is still a need to innovate within the given locale, not only to find success as a business but to also drive the overall sector forward in the country.
In Southeast Asia, digital innovations are in abundance, especially in Thailand. As such, the SA Asian internet economy has expanded by a massive 39 per cent to reach the milestone of $100 billion. While the likes of Indonesia and Vietnam have shown the highest growth rates, in excess of 40 per cent, the more seasoned jurisdictions, such as Thailand, have registered growth rates of between 20 and 30 per cent.
Innovations have been driving Thailand’s internet-based economic growth for years, with some great examples being derived from the financial, entertainment, and eCommerce industries.
Rapidly changing payments in Thailand
In the not too distant past of 2017, Thailand’s government sought to completely transform the financial infrastructure of the country, deciding to approach the company Vocalink to support what they called the ‘Financial Services Master Plan.’ The primary objectives of the plan were to head towards being cashless, drive innovation in the financial sector, and to effectively democratise finances.
Wanting to become an economic powerhouse in the Southeast Asia region and a cashless state, Thailand had set a high bar for Vocalink. Teaming up with National ITMX and the banks, the firm came back with a product that would completely change the way in which finances and payments would work in Thailand in a matter of years. As of late 2019, China led the world in mobile payments with 86 per cent of its population using the platform for finances, with Thailand following up at 67 per cent.
PromptPay is the product brought to the table, with the mobile phone app working as a real-time payments platform. The innovation at work is the account creation verification method which allows the unbanked to suddenly be able to receive and place digital and contactless payments for free. PromptPay allows the use of personal identity information to act as a proxy for their account and digital wallet.
Establishing a base for verification of online entertainment
The internet means so much more to people all over the world than sending some emails, reading the news, or making financial transactions; one of its most popular uses is as an entertainment platform. Online streaming and gaming have taken almost every region by storm as soon as internet penetration has started to rise there.
Thailand isn’t any different, but as the internet is such a vast and open place, there are, of course, some problems with navigating through the oceans of options. Recognizing this, online comparators offering verification and ratings, have been established so that users can instantly find, for example, the best Asian bookies that are trustworthy in Thailand and any type of online games as Dota2 which is the most popular eSports game in the country. It is innovative moves like this, establishing reliable portals to gaming, that allow people to use the internet carefree by filling the niche of a vetting service in the young Thai online gaming scene.
Pushing Thai business growth through eCommerce
Back in 2018, at the eCommerce Big Bang workshop for businesses in Chiang Rai, commerce minister SonthiratSonthijirawong stated that the ministry was looking to push the growth of Thai businesses through eCommerce. The idea behind this was to allow manufacturers to reach a global market, with ThaiTrade cited as the key vehicle for this going forward.
In 2020, ThaiTrade continues to push forward and expand the horizons for its users in eCommerce. Most recently, the pioneering eCommerce portal struck a partnership with OctoRocket to promote trade between Thailand’s and the rest of Asia’s food and beverages businesses. On OctoRocket, the Singaporean platform will add more focussed exposure to brands from Thailand that are endorsed by ThaiTrade, with Thai suppliers being welcomed onto the Southeast Asian suppliers’ network via OctoRocket.
These digital innovators have helped to propel Thailand’s internet economy by creating new financial opportunities for residents, bringing a reassured and streamlined entertainment experience, and by connecting Thai businesses to the outside world.