Thailand may very well become the next country to go cashless if four of the state-run banks and several commercial institutions have a say in it. PromptPay, as this new solution is called, will serve as a national payment scheme. Customers will be able to send money using their national ID or mobile phone number.
PromptPay is An Interesting Cashless Solution
Various countries around the world are on the cusp of going cashless, albeit none of them has taken the plunge yet. There are a few drawbacks to a cashless society, as consumers and enterprises would be entirely dependent on banks. Interestingly enough, the PromptPay proposal in Thailand is coming from several banks and financial institutions.
State-run Thai banks, together with over a dozen commercial institutions, will roll out PromptPay in a few weeks from now. Registration will begin mid-July, and the new national payment scheme facilitates sending money. However, this is at the cost of consumer privacy, as they need to provide a national ID or mobile phone number.
That being said, customer transfers will go live come October 2016, so there is still a long way to go. Commission-free transfers will be offered for all transfers under US$141. Doing so would effectively allow PromptPay to undercut the banks’ independent commercial service.
A Central Bank of Thailand spokesperson told the media:
“All parties confirmed their readiness for the official launch of public registration nationwide from July 15, 2016 onwards, believing that the new service will facilitate the public, reducing cash usage in Thailand and benefit the Thai overall economy in the long-run.”
Transfers of digital money between consumers and enterprises is the primary objective of PromptPay. Once this rollout is deemed a success, transfers between companies will become available as well, although there is no official date for that yet. In a later version, tax rebates and government pension payouts will embrace PromptPay as well.
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