Thailand is set to facilitate cross border digital payments with Asean members with QR code technology, according to Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya, assistant governor for payment systems policy and financial technology at the Bank of Thailand.
Businesses in Thailand will soon be able to make cross border payments to Singapore, Myanmar, and Cambodia and the facility is expected to go online somewhere in the second or third quarter of 2020.
Currently, members of Asean often find it difficult to carry out international transactions due to the unavailability of a digital payment platforms that process multiple currency payments within a short period of time.
As a remedy to the problem, Thailand has decided to leverage the QR code technology and offer a seamless cross border payment option. QR code technology enables contactless, fast and secure payments with the use of mobile apps to merchants as well as consumers.
The recent developments can be attributed to the collaboration between central banks, fintech startups, and financial institutions from the Asean region.
Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya told the media, “Regional interoperability of standardised QR code payments between Thailand and these nations has continued to make strides.”
Last year, Thailand also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the central bank of Cambodia to develop a similar cross border payment platform that leverages QR code technology. The platform, which is now online, facilitates cross border payments in local currencies.
Many banks in Thailand have also independently developed digital payment services that facilitate cross border payments.
In 2019, Thanachart Bank partnered with a Lao bank to develop digital payment services in the neighbouring countries. During the same period, Siam Commercial Bank and Krungthai Bank developed digital payments in Cambodia and Singapore respectively.