Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Thai tourism stimulus a road to cashless society

Thai tourism stimulus a road to cashless society

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A Thai girl in traditional costume posing for pictures at the ancient Wat Chaiwatthanaram temple in Ayutthaya province. AFP

Thai tourism stimulus a road to cashless society

As of October 9, as many as 10 million people had registered for the Thai government’s 10 trillion baht ($329 billion) “Eat, Shop, Spend” campaign since it was launched on September 23.

Under the project, registrants are given a 1,000 baht coupon to spend. Though the project is seen as a populist policy, there are many sectors that will benefit from the campaign, with IT experts seeing this as a first step towards turning Thailand into a cashless society.

Suebasak Suebpakdee, a telecoms researcher at Bangkok University, said the “Eat, Shop, Spend” project appears to be a way of introducing Thais to cashless payment, as it will circulate funds in many economic sectors.

Though the younger generation is familiar with e-transactions, the concept of e-wallets has not spread nationwide.

“If we want to succeed like China and other developed countries, where e-wallet has become a more traditional way of payment, we need to expand access points and applications. Only about one million people use e-wallets even though the service has been available for several years,” Suebsak said.

“However, this ‘Eat, Shop, Spend’ campaign has almost immediately gained 10 million e-wallet users, with merchants and small businesses finally recognising online opportunities, especially since they are earning 500 to 1,000 baht daily via apps.”

The campaign has not just increased the use of e-wallets, it has also increased the number of points where it can be used.

Previously, e-transactions could only be made at large retail shops or luxurious coffee shops, but now it can be used in mom-and-pop stores, street vendors and even for motorcycle taxis.

“Some countries use years to reach this scale, while Thailand managed to achieve this in less than half a month,” he said.

Behind the simple interface of the “Eat, Shop, Spend” is the National Digital ID system, which uses a facial-recognition system. Suebsak believes the system’s performance and accuracy will improve when the personal database is linked and more data is retrieved from different sources.

Hence, he said, the “Eat, Shop, Spend” campaign is worth the investment and even though the system is unstable, this campaign is a firm step towards a cashless society.

THE NATION (THAILAND)

MOST VIEWED

  • PM to vet NY holiday dates

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance submitted a letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to formally set a five-day national holiday from August 17-21 to make up for the Khmer New Year holiday in April that was postponed. Finance minister Aun Pornmoniroth sent

  • Cambodia rejects UN rights claim

    Cambodia's Permanent Mission to the UN Office in Geneva on Friday hit back at David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression after he raised concerns over the repression of free speech and

  • Snaring may spawn diseases

    The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has warned that snaring of animals has become a crisis that poses a serious risk to wildlife in Southeast Asia and could spawn the transmission of zoonotic diseases to humans. Its July 9 report entitled Silence of the Snares: Southeast Asia’

  • Ex-party leader, gov’t critic named as secretary of state

    A former political party leader known for being critical of the government has been appointed secretary of state at the Ministry of Rural Development, a royal decree dated July 9 said. Sourn Serey Ratha, the former president of the Khmer Power Party (KPP), told The Post

  • Residence cards set for over 80,000 immigrants

    The Ministry of Interior plans to grant residence cards to more than 80,000 immigrants to better keep track of them. The ministry announced the plan on July 10, following the results of an immigration census. “An inter-ministerial committee and many operational working groups have been set up

  • Kingdom produces PPE gear

    Medical supplies from Cambodia have been donated to member countries of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the fight against Covid-19, said an ADB report published on July 9. The report stated that the supplies were donated as a response to global efforts to

  • Kingdom, US vow stronger ties

    At an academic forum on Saturday to celebrate 70 years of Cambodia-US diplomatic ties, Cambodian researchers and officials expressed hope of encouraging US investments and for that country to deepen and improve its bilateral relations. Held at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, it reviewed the past 70

  • Fifteen Cambodians from Saudi get Covid-19

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday confirmed 15 more imported cases of Covid. The 15 men ‒ all Cambodian aged 21 to 33 ‒ arrived from Saudi Arabia on Friday via a connecting flight in Malaysia. They were travelling with 79 other passengers, three of them women. The ministry said 80 of the

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea