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We’ve now added support for Webhook call back.   This means you can set a notification URL to be notified of a transaction status change.  What is a Webhook? A WebHook is an HTTP callback: an HTTP POST that occurs when something happens; a simple event-notification via HTTP POST. A web application implementing WebHooks will POST a message to a URL when certain things happen.

How it works

 

webhooksupport

Under Settings in the right hand menu, there is now a place to enter your call back URL.  This should be a publicly accessible URL that can accept a POST.  For testing we suggest Requestb.in.  The payload is a Form format and looks like this:

amount=10.0&order_id=5362427&status=SUCCESS

We fire the POST any time we have status change, which will either be from Pending to Success or Pending to Failed.  They payload contains the:

  • Amount – Thai Baht amount
  • Order ID – Match with your topup request
  • Status – Failed or Success

The major benefit here is not having to poll the server to see if a request has been completed.  The webhook will fire on that event, letting your URL know about the status change.

 

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We just completed greater integration with the AIS 12Call top up system and have already notice a 25% increase in speed of topups. We have seen in the the time taken parameter we now show speeds as low as 7 seconds, down from 9 seconds.

Unfortunately, there is not much of an improvement in error messaging.  There are only 3 errors that can be thrown: Not a 12Call number (meaning it’s AIS post paid) , Not a valid number and general system error ( their system down ).   It sure would be nice to have some others – like: Previously recognized – but no longer active, not registered, not this network, over limit (4,000 Baht), no funds and not yet active.

Additionally we will be able to add ability to top up Post Paid AIS users, but demand for this may not be so high.

 

Bulk Topup Page

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We are just putting the finishing touches on our bulk credit topup product, which allows people who manage multiple numbers to easily paste in a list of number as have them submitted for topup at the same time.  Prior to this if you had a list of number you would need to enter them one by one.

Registered users can copy a list of numbers from an excel file and paste them into the numbers box in the form, one number per line.   Formatting expected is local formatting, so numbers should start with a 08, 09 or 06.  Then choose either DTAC Happy, AIS 12Call or True Move.

Choose an amount of credit which all the numbers will get.  If you need an odd amount like 650 Baht, you’ll need to do orders of 500 + 100 + 50 to equal 650 Baht.

To try Bulk Topup, login and visit the tool.

 

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We got an email out of the blue from the guys at Catcha Group, who are major investors in sites like Ensogo and ThaiCar.com and iPropertyAsia.  While we’re not yet out raising money, we do like the mantra of “Never say no when asked to present”.   Paul Graham on the other hand says it the opposite.

There’s so many things you could be doingone of them is the most important thing and you should be doing that and not any of the others.   You should not be grabbing coffee with investors.  When you want to raise money you shift into fundraising mode and you go and raise money. You do not like promiscuously meet with investors in the middle of the day when you should be working simply because they like send you an email.

Rejecting this advice I spent a week gathering together a pitch and pitch deck I could use to present.  Yes, thats a week not working on product so I start to see his point.   Practicing a pitch is it’s own art and worth perfecting so this was a great place to start.

Slides ended up being a great presentation tool with mobile phone as a remote control device.  Lots of online resources to get my head around what a Demo Day style pitch is suppose to be like.  Tip: It does not mean you have to demo your product.

The other startups were mostly Thai focused, and I missed a few of the pitches as Thailand Topup was in the middle of the pack. Some other promising start ups include Hankster (Hangover + Gangster), Niko’s Box ( Boxbee clone), Rushbike ( Uber for motorcycles ) and Parking Duck ( Bangkok parking solved ).

We were selected to join the pitches as much funding has poured into the mobile airtime space in India, and it’s not hard to make the connection in the Thai space.  Mixing rewards and top ups in Thailand is going to happen, and we hope to be a big part of it.

All-in-all great experience and when we reach the right time for funding, we’ll be ahead of the game.

 

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World wide remittances have reached $435 billion yearly, 4 times larger than yearly Global AId. The average cost of sending this money is 8% in 2014, which fell from about 9% in 2013. That means the take from the Western Union’s, Money Gram’s and other is about $33 Billion dollars a year.     Competition, Bitcoin and internet based transfer methods are expected to continue to drive down fees.

India is #1 for remittances and Thailand is 25th with around $5 Billion.  While remittances average $200 per month on average, mobile top ups are a small part of that. In Thailand, pre-paid top ups average 207 Baht, so that’s about 3% of monthly remittance amount.

Personal remittances thailand

Without access, cheaper remittance platform are useless

One of our goals with our API  is to enable anyone involved in remitting money to people in Thailand to consider Topups key part of the remittance strategy.    The purpose of remittances are to help friends and family.  Top of credit helps people purchase calling time and mobile Internet data.  3G mobile Internet data especially helps rural people in regions without good Internet access.

If you run or provide access to online remittance service, the obvious first challenge is people having access to that service through mobile Internet.  This would of course mean people with both access to smart phones and secondarily the top up credit to power 3G Internet data packages.   This means mobile data packages and remittance services need to go hand-in-hand.   Without access to data packages there is no access to cheaper faster and better remittance online services, and people will still need to rely on the traditional physical establishments.

With a smart phone adoption in rural parts of the world skyrocketing, it’s only a matter of time before people who would not previously had assess to quality online services will be able to use those services.

 

 

 

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320px-Groupon_logoWe are happy to be working with Groupon Thailand to power their Thai top up credit promotion. For 100 Baht, you get 100 Baht of top up credit plus 50 Baht of Groupon credit.

Groupon is using the ThaialndTopup API to offer a Groupon promotion of prepaid credit to users of Groupon who sign up and are among the first to win the promotion.

Winners of the Groupon deal will get top up credit from AIS 12Call, True move or DTAC Happy, in addition to getting a Groupon credit as well.

Groupon is a well know daily deals and coupons site.  Users can find great deals on hotel rooms, vacation packages, restaurant deals and more by being a member and being one of the limited number of deal takers.

To making it easier, Groupon is using our network look up feature so users only need enter a phone number, and we discover their network.

Check out the promotion here.

groupon-deal-thailandtopup

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2013 Thailand Mobile Market InformationIn 2013, There were 76 million pre-paid mobile phone users in Thailand who pay an average of 207 Baht per month.  That is up from 74 million in 2012.   Compare that number with the 10.9 million post paid users in 2013, it’s quite clear that prepaid is for the majority of the population.

The most popular network is by far AIS with 42% of market share.  The 2 smallest players make up less than 2% of the market share, making this essentially a 3 horse race in Thailand.

Users are slowly moving away from voice services and into data services.  Also growth is slowing, as penetration is over 100%.

 

 

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thailand topup logoAnd we’re off!

Thanks to fiver and a good quick favicon designer, we got a clear, to the point  favicon image completed.  Baht on your phone.  Simple as that.  We aim to be the best and easiest way to get Thai Baht on to you prepaid phone.  As for the well banked post-paid user, well you’re likely to have many more payment options at your disposal, so this feature may be a while.

 

Network Lookup

A word about our network look up feature.   We have the ability to do a live look up of a phone number to determine it’s network.  Once we know the network, we can send the user’s number to the right carrier to fulfill the credit request.   So if you would like to send credit to a friend, but you forgot to ask what his network is, you can do a network look up, find out the current network, and send.

There are published lists of allocations of Thai phone number and the Network they have been allocated to.  You can see this in use at a site like checkber.com.  This is good most of the time, but fails when the user has switched carriers.

As number portability now exists in Thailand, only relying on these rules is no longer enough.  Many user have ported there numbers from one carrier to another.  Our network check service is a live check, and will even return if a user is roaming in another country or not.

 

 

 

 

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We are now beta testing our AIS 12Call top up connection.  It’s ready for use with our API or Web app interface.  The denominations will be: 10, 20, 30, 50, 100, 200, 300, 500, and 800 Baht to start, but we do have the option to offer more.  Unfortunately, less than 10 Baht is not offered.

Order time is about 17 seconds from request to credit receive SMS.  Of course these times can vary, based on a few factors.  AIS will issue a transaction ID code for each successful order.  After the transaction code is received, the order is marked as successful.    If an order fails, it is simply marked as failed.