Digital online payments in Thailand surge from pre-pandemic levels

pre-pandemic digital payments Thailand
FILE PHOTO: People wearing face masks shop for street food in Chinatown amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Digital payments in Thailand have quadrupled from pre-pandemic levels, the central bank said on Monday, as the Southeast Asian country’s longest-running wave of infections accelerates demand for online services.

Thailand’s latest outbreak started in April, accounting for more than 98% of its COVID-19 cases and deaths, prompting tougher restrictions in July and August that reduced mobility.

The number of daily transactions made via the PromptPay platform currently averaged 28 million, which is “quite a big jump” from pre-pandemic levels, Assistant Governor Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya told a news conference.

PromptPay is a service that enables people to easily receive and transfer funds, using their Citizen ID or mobile phone number instead of a bank account number, via electronic channels – namely internet banking, mobile banking and ATMs. It offers quick, convenient and secure payments with minimal or no fees!

Average daily transactions were just 7 million in 2019 and rising to 14.5 million in 2020, central bank data showed.

As there are new financial services and investments during the pandemic, the financial sector post-COVID-19 will transform towards more digital services and faster, Siritida added.

(Reporting by Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Writing by Orathai Sriring; Editing by Martin Petty)

Related article: The future of commerce and payments in the post-COVID era

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