Thailand Post to expand POS to 5,000 villages
The Digital Economy and Society (DE) Ministry has pushed Thailand Post to expand its point of sale (POS) service to cover 5,000 villages this year, helping rural areas access online marketplaces and building up community e-commerce nationwide.
There are only 200 POS units nationwide. The POS expansion complements the national broadband network for all villages (Net Pracharat) that began in December 2016 and is scheduled to be completed by the middle of this year.
Vunnaporn Devahastin, deputy permanent secretary of the DE Ministry, said in 2019 the ministry wants to promote community e-commerce nationwide for sustainable rural development through the Net Pracharat project.
Thailand Post's POS system will help people who need to sell their products to access the e-marketplace via Thailandpostmart.com, the main website of the company.
Through the system, products will be listed in the central database and uploaded via the e-catalogue system connected with other communities.
All community e-commerce units will be equipped with a POS application that facilitates the rural merchants in terms of inventory management and sales reports as well as a logistics channel and e-payment transactions via debit, credit or the e-wallet system of Thailand Post.
Ms Vunnaporn said the community e-commerce model operates as one-stop service for e-commerce activities through the company's e-marketplace, e-payment and e-logistics systems.
"The DE Ministry wants to see all villagers able to use their community e-commerce unit to boost their income and reduce disparities in business opportunities," she said.
The POS expansion also strengthens Thailand Post's business competency in the long run as it is a new revenue stream amid fierce competition with international parcel delivery providers.
Ms Vunnaporn said the big global players lack community engagement.
Smorn Terdthampiboon, president of Thailand Post, said the company focuses on strengthening local e-commerce in three areas: e-marketplace, e-logistics and e-payment.
Thailand Post targets profit of 5 billion baht in 2019, a 14% increase from 4.4 billion last year thanks to growing e-commerce, including cross-border transactions and the company's improvement in postal and delivery service management, as well as digitalising its procedures.
To capitalise on growing e-commerce business, Mrs Smorn said the company has been improving its capacity through both service management and sorting systems.
Thailand Post recently extended office hours in major postal offices nationwide from 8am-4.30pm to 8am-8pm during Monday to Saturday, and 8am-12pm on Sunday.