Thailand: expanding the cross-border payment system via QR codes

February 17, 2020 by
Nico Hoeijmans

THailandIn a bid to bridge the gat between neighbouring countries, Thailand decided to leverage QR code technology to empower cross-border payment capabilities. QR - Quick Response - code technology is a solution within the financial landscape that innovates and promotes contactless, fast and secure payment capabilities via mobile apps to merchants and consumers.

To realise this process, a mobile app to support the QR system named K Plus is developed. The app allows users to complete payments in four countries in the ASEAN region countries. These countries are Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar and Cambodia. Payments can be made swiftly, regardless of currency and location. For Thailand, this follows the country's 2020 e-payment roadmap. It focuses on improving the digital financial transactions across the ASEAN region and further integration of the area.

Alliances in the ASEAN region

According to the Bangkok Post, the Bank of Thailand formed an alliance with Singapore, Myanmar and Cambodia to enable the new digital payment system. It is scheduled to become effective in the middle of 2020. Governor of the Bank of Thailand, Siritida Panomwonna Ayudhya, comments that the regional interoperability of standardised QR code payments between Thailand local banks and these neighbouring nations continued to make strides.

In Cambodia, the Siam Commercial Bank sees first results from the enabled QR code technology. Here, no targets for the specific transaction volumes and foreign exchange income form the digital payment service have been set. Despite that, there is growth potential in the digital origin of the payment method. In Cambodia, the solution will soon be available to e-commerce retailers, small and medium enterprises and merchants. First, individual consumers and tourists get access to the platform.

It is early in the process to predict any successes. Despite that, the initiative is a bold move by Thailand to not tighten regional relationships and foster a more digital society.

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