E-Commerce, Ridehailing led Southeast Asia’s $100 billion Internet Economy in 2019

Online travel and digital payments are on the rise as well, a joint study by Google, Temasek and Bain & Co showed

That number is expected to hit $300 billion by 2025, with the advent of smartphones, a meteoric rise in the number of internet-based startups, and the development of futuristic technology in the region.

Southeast Asia’s internet economy hit the $100 billion mark in 2019, tripling in size over the last four years, a joint study by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co showed, driven mostly by e-commerce and ridehailing.

Indeed, some of the biggest unicorns out of the region are internet-based: Indonesia’s Gojek and Traveloka, and Singapore’s Grab and Garena, among others. Even the sectors in which they operate – e-commerce and ridehailing – grabbed a major chunk of the $37 billion capital that was invested into the internet economy, the study showed.

Country-wise, Indonesia and Vietnam showed the best growth rate in internet companies in the region, accounting for 40 percent of the overall growth, while Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines grew 20 percent to 30 percent.

Indonesia is on track to match the $4 billion in investments it raised in 2018, with funds also flowing into digital payments, the study showed. Some of the large funding rounds in 2019 were completed by giants such as Bukalapak, Gojek, Tokopedia and Traveloka.

Vietnam’s internet economy is gaining momentum too, fuelled by homegrown marketplaces like Sendo and Tiki, which compete with regional players like Lazada and Shopee.

In Singapore, internet companies have raised more than $26 billion since 2016, led by unicorns like Grab and SeaGroup, as well as companies like Carousell, GoBear, ONE Championship, PropertyGuru, ShopBack and Zilingo.

Other regions, such as the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia have room for growth, the study said. In the Philippines, online media such as music and video streaming is on the rise, while in Malaysia, e-commerce and travel are leading the way.

Thailand’s online travel sector is among the biggest in the region, valued at $9 billion in 2019.

Apart from e-commerce, ridehailing, online travel and online media, the uptake of financial services in the region has been slow, but robust. The adoption of digital payments is expected to account for almost $1 in every $2 dollars spent in the region by 2025, which means of every $2 spent in the region, $1 would be online, through digital payments.

The Internet Economy in Numbers

  • Over a decade ago, only one in five Southeast Asians had internet connectivity, the study showed.
  • Today, of the nearly 570 million people that live in the region, 360 million use the internet.
  • The internet user base in the region has grown by 100 million since 2015; most of those new additions are between 15 to 19 years old.
  • 90 percent of the 360 million internet users in the region use their mobile phones to connect to the internet.
  • People living in the bigger, more urban cities or metropolitan areas in the region buy six times more online than those living elsewhere.
  • Internet users in Thailand spent 5 hours, 13 minutes per day on mobile internet, higher than in most other countries; the global average is 3 hours, 13 minutes – research by We Are Social and Hootsuite showed.
  • Most users in the region spent more time on social media and communication apps, more than anything else;  video apps follow close behind.

Article by Aparajita Saxena from Entrepreneur.com


5 Things To Consider When Choosing An Online Payment Gateway In Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the countries in South East Asia that is seeing a tremendous growth in ecommerce. As more and more locals get the hang of online shopping, many are also choosing to start their own online business in the hopes of striking it rich.

Anyone wanting to sell online will most definitely need an online payment gateway to accept payment from customers.

There are 5 things to consider when it comes to choosing an online payment gateway in Malaysia.

Don’t Rush

If you’re just starting out with your own little online business, it’s wise to take some time to research on the available payment gateway providers in Malaysia.

You’ll need to decide whether you want to accept only online banking or with credit card processing features. These days, most businesses will and should accept credit card payments.

But please note that you’ll need to pay a higher fee if you choose to accept credit card payment processing functions. More on that soon.

So if you’re just starting out, go with PayPal first with a personal account instead of locking yourself down with an expensive yearly plan.

What Does Malaysia PayPal Offer? 

PayPal doesn’t charge any setup fees or annual fees. All you need is a PayPal account to start off with and make sure that you link your online store to PayPal correctly to be able to accept payment from customers.

For every local Malaysian online transaction, PayPal takes 3.9% + RM2.

If you’re selling to oversea buyers, PayPal takes 4.4% + fixed fee based on currency received.

Many sellers will consider this rather high but my advice is that you factor in the transaction fees into the cost of your products.

Here’s the Malaysia PayPal transaction fees page.

Compare The Transaction Fees

Online payment gateway providers in Malaysia offer online banking transfer plans.

This means that customers can pay with their online bank account direct to the sellers’ bank account.

The transaction fee for online bank transfer payment is usually lower compared to credit card payments transaction fees.

Credit card processing includes the use of debit cards.

Most payment gateways will accept MasterCard and Visa for credit and debit card processing.

If you want to accept online payment with American Express, UnionPay or Diner’s Club, it’s best to also check with the Malaysia online payment gateway provider on whether they’re able to process these cards and to also check on the transaction fees as they are higher for certain cards.

Need An Online Payment Gateway In Malaysia Business Account? 

If your online business is starting to gain traction, you’ll discover that PayPal’s transaction fees are eating away at your profits particularly if you’re doing volume transactions.

That’s when you need to consider getting a business account from other payment gateway in Malaysia like iPay88 or MOLPay.


Another good payment gateway provider in Malaysia to consider would be eGHL but please consider their conditions as well.

If you only have a few orders a month, just stick to PayPal first.

Are Your Products And Services Prohibited? 

If you’re planning on selling products like medicine, weapons, or certain types of services, you’d best check with the payment gateway whether they are able to offer you a merchant account.

Because if your products are listed under their prohibited items list, there’s a high chance that your application will be rejected.

Worse case scenario will be when people want to buy your products but they have no way of paying you with their credit cards unless you use a payment gateway provider that is able to accept the products that you’re selling.

Any Additional Charges? 

Since payment from customers will land in your payment gateway account, you’ll also need to check if there are any fees involved when you need to transfer those funds to your own bank account.

Some payment providers require a minimum threshold amount in the account before they allow you to transfer it to your bank account.

Others may charge a certain percentage fee if the minimum amount is not met.

When Can I Get Hold Of My Funds? 

There may also be a minimum amount of working days required when you initiate the fund transfer.

So be sure to check with the payment gateway provider on the time frame needed in case you want the funds urgently.

Do You Need Help Setting Up Your Payment Gateway? 

Creating an account with any of these providers should be easy but just in case you’re not very technical savy, it’s best to get an expert to help you with it.

Especially when it comes to linking your payment gateway to your online store as this will require testing to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Some of the best ecommerce shopping cart in Malaysia offer their merchants free service to help them set up their online sites which include setting up their payment gateway for them.

The Rundown 

Well, I mentioned 5 things to watch out for. Looks like there’s 7 to consider but these are crucial as you don’t want to get stuck with a payment gateway that will frustrate you to bits.

Because different businesses have different business needs, the main criteria is always the same. You want your payment to be processed fast, secure with low transaction fees and it needs to be easy to set up and use.

Take into account these crucial points to choose the payment gateway that will best meet your online business needs.

E-Commerce Is Immortal

E-Commerce Is Immortal

Several years ago, could you imagine that ordering food to the comfort of your home without leaving and entering a restaurant was even possible? Could you also picture yourself booking an entire holiday on just your mobile phone or tablet? Also, did you consider ever buying a car or a house without going to physically see them? This is the beauty of e-commerce.

Technology and the internet has made it so much easier for us today. Anything is possible with a computer, smart phone and tablet. The world is just at your finger tips, literally. What all this means is that the ancient myth called e-commerce has come to stay! Experts believe that e-commerce is immortal. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online travel website which forms an integral part of the Jumia Group (Africa’s leading e-commerce website) looks to examine this assertion.

E-commerce grows with every development in technology

Just like twins, e-commerce and technology grow together as a pair. With every advancement in technology comes a giant development in the way we do business online today.

It all started with the creation of computers, then came the internet, now we have smartphones, laptops, and tablets. All these have helped facilitated the smooth running of e-commerce. What comes next? We still await that but one thing is for sure, as long as the technology exists then e-commerce will never die.

Business never stops

To live a happy and content life we need to buy. Which also means that we need to sell. Without selling and generating an income, there is no buying and this is what we call “business”. The old, traditional ways of buying and selling still exists till today but is nearing extinction. Although we cannot immediately eliminate this, we all can admit that almost everyone is now conducting their business online. This just means that to remain relevant and in the competition, you need to have an online presence as well and do business there. This creates an everlasting need for e-commerce. How then does e-commerce die? Probably when we stop doing business entirely. When will this happen? My guess is probably never. For as long as the world is spinning, business will keep on going.

“Time no dey!”

This is a quote people in Ghana, are often using for various reasons. “Time no dey” simply means “There is no time”.

This term is widely used to stress the fact that man has inadequate time to undertake all the activities expected of him hence the need to take action now. If there is insufficient time, then why waste the little time we already have? Many people today would rather book their travel online than go back and forth their future destinations looking at different options.

People today would rather pay for a service or order food online than carry large sums of cash into a bank or enter a restaurant respectively. E-commerce saves us busy people a lot of time! If this is widely accepted, then truly e-commerce has come to stay and will never die. Before, time was of the great essence, today it is of the even greater essence. In the future, it is going to become the most expensive abstract commodity because it saves cost as well. To adequately prepare for such a period, it is imperative to protect what we have. E-commerce is that savior when it comes to saving time and making our lives much easier.

Not limited by geography

One limitation that cuts across almost every sector of human development is geography. You may be in Taiwan needing something in London or even in Malaysia with the need for some item or service from the U.S. Without technology and e-commerce, you are stuck! How would you see it, get it and pay for it? The answer is simply e-commerce.

This wonder of the world is not limited by geography. Wherever you are in the world, you can do business online. All you need is a computer and the internet. You can buy, sell, send, receive and enjoy products and services across continents, countries, and regions. It is so powerful that you can be in Asia and find hotels, flights in Europe by just a few clicks on your mouse. What makes it all even better? You can receive the item right up to your doorstep  without having to travel to the country where you bought the item from.

Everyone is online

Well, if all the reasons stated above are not enough to convince you about the immortality that is e-commerce, this last one should do the trick. Before you even start smiling, go on to your smartphone and check if you have the following apps: WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook. If you have any one of them, then on to the next question. Have you seen any advertisement on any of them before? Or have you put up an item for sale on any of them before? You have surely received payments via mobile money or other electronic payment platforms. This only shows you that, nearly everything is being done online and business, in general, is drifting towards an online field. Nearly everyone is online for one reason or the other and that represents the single biggest place to reach customers as well as sellers. With projections expecting one out of 3 persons to be online by 2050, e-commerce isn’t going away ever. It will surely never die.

How Companies Today Are Innovating the E Commerce World

How Companies Today Are Innovating the E Commerce World

In the tech world we love finding ‘the next big thing’.

With all the new and exciting innovative solutions, hardware and emerging platforms, us as consumers and tech developers are always looking ahead. We are either creating something cool and exciting or eager to know what’s next for technology. But, because we are always living in the future tense, this some how blinds us to what is right in front of us, which is the growth of e commerce. Research was made by the International Trade Administration, predicting that e commerce will be expected to grow by 30.7 percent in 2017.

Putting aside our love for AI, machine learning or even blackchain for a minute. There are some really important changes happening in e commerce as this very moment. One thing is for certain, e commerce’s role in our lives won’t be going away anytime soon. Here’s why:

Getting Social

The combining of social media and e commerce was bound to happen at some point in time. Social media is a great way for a business to promote new goods and it also helps businesses build a community for its customers. Before, the only form of social media to businesses was blogging. But in today’s world there is so much more to social media than just blogging.

A great example of a company that has been using the social media trend to help their business is Azazie. Azazie is a wedding dress retailer. What Azazie does is, they build a community using social media platforms, based on their products and allow their customers to write a story. If you click onto their website, you’ll be able to see photos posted onto their Style Gallery, blog and social media channels that shows all their happy customers wearing their beautiful dresses. This will create a level of trust and comfort for new customers and also a hub for the businesses products to be showcased.

Coming From All Angles

The multi-sided market concept is nothing new to the e commerce world. This recipe is what brought success to Uber and also cable television. Today, companies in the e commerce world have stared to apply this method this to niche markets. By being the intermediary between customers and retailers, they are allowing people to make an extra income, while at the same time following their dreams.

A company that is very popular in the e commerce sneaker world using this model is StockX. It is a market place for sneaker re sellers. Buying, selling and trading sneakers has been very popular in 2017, with the rising of the streetwear trend. Sites like eBay and Instagram have been the two main sites where these re sellers usually post their shoes to be sold, but StockX was able to come in and take it to a whole new level! StockX’s authentication process proves that all of the shows being sold on their site is 100% genuine. On top of that, the site also gives its customers an accurate market price value for each sneaker. The company provides accurate insights that re sellers and industry expert can use.  An example would be, StoxkX released a report on Jordan sneakers. That report predicted that there would be a decrease resale value within the next couple of months and true enough the sneakers faced a 70% drop in price. The company’s ability to provide such phenomenal insights on the sneaker industry helps set them apart from other market place websites.

The Rise Of The Independent

It is no secret that most of us know someone with a side hustle, which is a huge part of the e commerce sector. Actually, it is the main component of the gig economy and it only continues to grow. CNBC reported that 19% of Etsy users make between $100-$500 off their online stores. Though it is going to take some time to make that kind of money, passively earning money from doing what you have a passion for is a dream for many people. However, there are organization unlike Etsy who have decided to go at it alone and cut out the middleman by starting up a shop of their own.

But even though it’s going to take quite some time to establish and promote, having your own e commerce shop is a trend that is slowly growing within the younger population. Again, with this trend there is no signs of it slowing down anytime soon. So, if you’re thinking of owning your very own e commerce store, now is the perfect time to jump onto the bandwagon before its too late!

Article originally written by The Next Web by George Ball, on the 20th of September 2017

Facebook’s E-Commerce ‘Marketplace’ Expansion

Facebook clearly does not wish to miss out on the ever growing and expanding e-commerce world hence why they came up with Marketplace. Currently in the U.S, smart phone purchases account for a quarter of digital sales. Smartphone shopping is slowly becoming a major consumer favorite.

Facebook’s mobile-only buy-and-sell tab, was launched in October in the U.S and has since expended to six other countries: Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Chile and Mexico. In addition, Facebook also is also expending its reach to Europe as well. 17 countries in Europe such as France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and more will be the few who will able to use the Facebook ‘Marketplace’ service. Facebook has yet to announce how many people are currently using Marketplace each month. But, they did share that 18 million items are being posted on to Marketplace in U.S alone in the month of May and that the amount only continues to grow. According to Forbes, about 550 million people visit “buy and sell” Facebook groups every month. This is exactly why Marketplace is a great opportunity for Facebook to expand its e-commerce reach.

Facebook’s Marketplace competitors are major marketplace platforms such as eBay and Craigslist. If you were to compare eBay to Marketplace, eBay is currently available in more than 30 countries around the world and has 171 million users on the side in the past quarter. Also in the month of February itself, 55 million people have gone on to the Craigslist page, according to ComScore. According to research by AIM Group, in 2016 Craigslist generated more than $690 million in revenue. As you can see, there is no slowing down the e-commerce sector. In addition, according to a forecasting firm eMarketer, the mobile e-commerce sector is estimated to exceed $100 billion this year in the U.S itself. eMarketer also forecasted that in 2021 the smartphone e-commerce sector will generate more than $33 billion and 80.5% of the e-commerce purchases will be made on mobile devices.  Facebook believes that its identity data on the main Facebook app that connects friends of friends who live near by will set Marketplace apart from its competitors.

In an interview with the Vice President of Marketplace Deborah Liu, she said that Marketplace is a people based commerce where you will be able to see mutual friends, which is what sets Facebook Marketplace apart from the other e-commerce platforms.

Facebook will connect sellers to its buyers and buyers to its sellers through Facebook chat, which also supports payments, sharing of ones location and sending a voice or video clip. Additionally, Marketplace makes it possible for its users to browse for times or create a ‘for sale’ post on the go with ease.

For the safety of users and the prevention of offensive items for sale, Facebook has an artificial intelligence tool that can scan each and every post that is shared onto Marketplace. Users flagging a post can also trigger a manual review. Ever since the launch of Marketplace, Facebook has been working hard on improving its search, safety and product categories in tab. According to Marketplace’s Vice President, the most popular items sold on Facebook Marketplace are household goods, fashion, kids products and furniture. The Facebook platform, has recently added standalone categories such as, jobs and tickets to help businesses look for employees.

Facebook has plans to expanding its category option by adding more and also improving item suggestions over time. Marketplace is a one stop shop where you can find all sorts of things to fit your fancy. Whether it be a job, clothing or a kettle for your kitchen Facebook Marketplace is where you’ll find everything.

The inspiration for the creation of Marketplace came from observing the significant number of Facebook users who were using the platform to buy and sell products in groups based on their interests and geography. Marketplace is currently free for both buyers and sellers to use.