Thailand aims for cashless society with PromptPay launch

Thailand is hoping for wide take-up of its newly-launched PromptPay initiative, the first stage of a national electronic payments scheme as part of moves to introduce a cashless society.

Most of Thailand’s 15 commercial and four state-owned banks opened pre-registration for PromptPay, a money transfer and payment service at the start of July and official registration began on July 15.

Under PromptPay, individuals can easily and rapidly transfer money online to recipients who hold accounts at different banks, or even the same banks in cross-clearing zones, free of charge. However, they are required to sign up to link their ID card or mobile phone number to bank accounts at participating banks.

Anuchit Anuchitanukul, adviser to the Thailand Finance Ministry’s national e-payment project, commented that Thailand will be on its way to becoming a cashless country if around 20% – 30% of banks’ 75.24m individual current and savings deposits holders register for the PromptPay service. However, worries over security and personal privacy have discouraged some from registering.

Yos Kimsawatde, head of Thai Bankers’ Association’s (TBA) payment system office, said the proportion of cashless payments in Thailand could double to 60% of all payments within five years from the current 30% if there are enough electronic data capture (EDC) devices nationwide.


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