E-payment roadmap eyes cross-border as first order

E-payment roadmap eyes cross-border as first order

The national e-payment roadmap for 2020 prioritises cross-border payments and fund transfers, aiming to boost financial transactions via the digital platform across Asean and deepening integration of the regional bloc.

Under the three-year national e-payment roadmap through 2022, cross-border transactions are the focus next year. Financial services on digital platforms are to be available regionwide by mid-2020, said Yos Kimsawas, head of payment systems at the Thai Bankers' Association.

Many local banks have developed a digital infrastructure base in preparation for cross-border payments and fund transfers.

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) plans to roll out cross-border payment via QR technology under the Asean interoperability standard and cross-border fund transfers this quarter, said Srihanath Lamsam, executive vice-president of SCB.

In the initial stage, the bank will focus on Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Migrants from neighbouring countries and expats working in Thailand are the key targets for cross-border fund transfers, while regional travellers and merchants are the key customers for cross-border QR payment service.

SCB, the country's largest lender by assets, has joined with Singapore-based partner Liquid Group to offer cross-border QR payment in Thailand and Singapore with a goal of 200,000 transactions in the first year of operations.

The bank plans to provide cross-border QR code payment in Cambodia later this year and aims for 1 million transactions in the first year, Mr Srihanath said.

The service will be extended to Laos in the first quarter of next year, he said.

SCB also won approval from Cambodian central bank to be a baht-riel settlement bank and plans to launch digital cross-border transactions later.

The Philippines is another market in the pipeline with a lot of migrants and expats working in Thailand.

"Lower fees for digital cross-border fund transfer channels than for underground money delivery will facilitate digital transactions across the region, adding convenience, simplicity and security," Mr Srihanath said. "Cross-border money delivery through the underground channel charges 500-600 baht per time on average."

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