Thailand's push toward "Cashless Society"

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#1 Thailand's push toward "Cashless Society"

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:04 am

Once again folks, if you plan on spending substantial time in Thailand, I not only urge you to open a Thai bank account, but especially at one of the banks listed in the article below, although I expect that all the Thai banks will sooner or later be doing the same and this e-payment method will sooner or later become a standard.

I also suggest opening a Thai bank account as soon as possible. It is getting more and more difficult to open Thai bank accounts and is likely to continue getting more difficult.

All of these banks have online banking and secure smartphone apps.

People have posted that compared to most other Thai banks, it is still relatively easy to open an account at a Kasikorn Bank (aka K-Bank). Of course, I remind you that if you don't get the answer you want at one branch, just go to another branch. Quite often the answer you'll get will be totally different.

Thailand pushing to become cashless society

January 1, 2018

As part of Thailand’s aspiration to become a cashless society, the country will soon adopt a new nationwide e-payment method using the so-called QR Code familiar to social media users.

The Bank of Thailand has approved plans by five commercial banks to introduce the QR Code e-payment service – Kasikornbank, Siam Commercial Bank, Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank and Government Savings Bank.

The addition of the service is expected to help reduce dependence on cash transactions as more businesses are set to accept the new e-payment method.

During a recent experiment in using the service at Bangkok’s Chatuchak Sunday market, more than 1,000 small vendors as well as service providers including motorcycle taxis accepted payment from customers using their mobile phones to transfer money via the QR Code.

The method is convenient and carries no additional transaction costs for either sellers or service providers.

Its popularity makes it possible to live in China today without having to use cash for most goods and services.

China is now the world’s leader for QR Code e-payments, which has disrupted more traditional payment services such as debit and credit cards.

The huge number of Chinese tourists in Thailand, totaling nearly 10 million per year, has also prompted the early adoption of the e-payment method among Thai convenience stores and retail operators.

Earlier, the Thai government launched the PromptPay e-payment service for domestic use, making free of charge small-value money transfers via bank accounts.

The PromptPay popularity is expected to further grow when the QR Code system is added to the e-payment platform.

To facilitate nationwide adoption of the new platform, the central bank has taken steps to endorse a single Thai QR Code standard in accordance with the international system for mobile applications.

In practice, consumers after downloading an app for the service that matches their bank accounts could turn their smartphones or other compatible devices into electronic purses by scanning a seller’s QR code to pay for purchases at various goods and services outlets.

The money would then be automatically transferred from the buyer’s bank account into the seller’s account based on a similar arrangement with their participating bank.

The central bank has said that in a future stage it would expand the e-payment platform to cover holders of credit cards so as to make it more versatile.

Overall, the platform is a crucial element of Thailand’s emerging digital economy and society in which the lifestyle of consumers increasingly is closely tied to mobile phones and other smart devices.

For the government, any form of electronic payment is useful since it creates electronic records on transactions that make tax collection more efficient. In addition, the economy will benefit from more electronic transactions by increasing efficiency – cash transactions are more expensive due to higher costs.

For vendors, there is no additional transaction cost since banks are keen to provide the service free of charge at this stage, with some banks even offering additional financial incentives to early adopters without conditions requiring minimum payment per transaction.

The new service will help banks stay close to both consumers and businesses, big and small. This would allow banks to make use of the huge amount of data generated by both buyers and sellers in multiple ways.

While electronic transactions offer definite convenience advantages for consumers, experts warn that they should ensure that their personal devices are fully secured. ... s-society/

New digital marketplaces seek to reshape economy

by Nophakhun Limsamarnphun

January 2, 2018

New digital marketplaces seek to reshape economy

Regulatory approval sought for sweeping changes based on e-commerce

The age of digital transformation is dawning on Thailand’s economy and society as evidenced by crucial developments in banking, retail and other sectors.

The Bank of Thailand reported that commercial banks had shut down nearly 300 bank branches in the country in 2017 as customers moved towards Internet and mobile banking services, ushering in a new era of digital banking.

In the meantime, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is leading the pack by launching its “SCB Express” concept – fully-automated banking centres in various Bangkok locations.

SCB and Kasikorn Bank are seeking regulatory approval to operate e-commerce platforms to link millions of mobile customers with vendors of various goods and services, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In the retail sector, SCB is working with The Mall group, one of Thailand’s biggest retail and shopping centre chains, to introduce an automated cashier-less supermarket service at selected locations.

Central department store group has joined forces with China’s No 2 e-commerce giant,, to create an “online marketplace”, and the country’s top e-commerce sites, led by Lazada (part of the Alibaba group), 11 Street and Shoppe, have been challenging traditional retail models with disruptive technologies.

With many payments now possible through the ease of touching a mobile-phone screen or waving a card, consumers are expecting more from goods and service providers.

E-commerce, mobile payments using QR Codes, digital banking on the go, cashier-less grocery shopping and other innovations will start to become the norm this year as traditional business models merge with digital technology to stay relevant. Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming the new tool for banks, retail chains and other service providers to stay ahead of their consumers’ expectations.

Since machine-learning technology is now cheaper and easier to manage, it is likely that predictive analytics that capitalise on the abundance of consumer and other data will be more widely used by Thai businesses and industries.

AI will soon usher in a new term, “machine commerce”, in which transactions are automatically generated by computer software using the huge amount of available data in real time.

This will happen this year if the major commercial banks get approval from the Bank of Thailand to launch e-commerce platforms that automatically match millions of bank customers with SMEs and other vendors.

Kasikorn Bank has said it has about 7 million mobile customers and is enlisting SMEs to join its proposed e-commerce platform pending regulatory approval, while SCB has about 6 million mobile customers and is planning a similar marketplace platform.

AI and machine learning will become more commonplace in other sectors, especially in logistics and warehouse management as well as in food, beverage and other manufacturing sectors in which the use of robots and automation systems is rapidly replacing human workers.

To facilitate the advent of a digital economy and society, government and private sector organisations have joined forces to launch the National Digital ID programme to provide reliable online confirmation of personal identities for various activities, including online government services and financial transactions. For example, a person may open a bank account online using the government’s demographic database to verify his or her identity based on the 13-digit ID number assigned to each person.

Such a use will be sanctioned by law to ensure that this and other online activities are legally binding in the digital age. ... s/30335183

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#2 Re: Thailand's push toward "Cashless Society"

Postby christianpfc » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:02 pm

Wild dreams, just as the high-speed rail links between (places of your choice). I'm paying cash wherever possible, and will resist digital payment wherever possible; the only exceptions are MRT card (that one is really useful as I ride the MRT at least twice per week on average), and paying for flights or hotel bookings (applies only to some cases of abroad travel, in Thailand I do all hotels walk-in).

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#3 Re: Thailand's push toward "Cashless Society"

Postby thaiworthy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:12 pm

christianpfc wrote:Wild dreams . . . in Thailand I do all hotels walk-in).

Don't you make use of Agoda? I have found their rates so much cheaper than walk-in.
"Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things." --George Carlin

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#4 Re: Thailand's push toward "Cashless Society"

Postby Captain Kirk » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:36 pm

I've got a virtually cashless bank account. I'm ahead of the game here.

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#5 Re: Thailand's push toward "Cashless Society"

Postby aussie » Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:57 pm

I was in Shanghai last year and my Chinese friend paid for nearly every purchase with his phone. The only exception was some street food.

I doubt if the go go bars here in Thailand would like this system as they would surely prefer cash earnings but maybe even they will change to survive with their large visiting Asian customer base.

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#6 Re: Thailand's push toward "Cashless Society"

Postby christianpfc » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:58 pm

thaiworthy wrote:
christianpfc wrote:Wild dreams . . . in Thailand I do all hotels walk-in).

Don't you make use of Agoda? I have found their rates so much cheaper than walk-in.

In Thailand, I stay in places in the range of 300-500 THB that are often not even found on Agoda.

However abroad (most notably Taiwan last year), it is indeed true that online is cheaper than walk-in (receptionist told me and I checked), so there I booked online several times.

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