Will PromptPay revolutionise payments & money transfers?

Will PromptPay revolutionise payments & money transfers?

Mobile phones and PromptPay promise huge convenience and instant payments online, but the Bank of Thailand is already warning that if you lose money or your bank account gets hacked,   it will be your fault. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
Mobile phones and PromptPay promise huge convenience and instant payments online, but the Bank of Thailand is already warning that if you lose money or your bank account gets hacked, it will be your fault. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Almost 10 million signed up for new govt system to make transfers & payments by mobile phone but malware, viruses, privacy & trust issues remain.


Will PromptPay revolutionise payments & money transfers?

Wichit Chantanusornsiri & Pathom Sangwongwanich

Promptpay, the government's new e-payment system may soon revolutionise the way people pay for things they buy in Thailand.

Under PromptPay a person or business will be able to make easy money transfers and payments to buy things online with their mobile phone rather than transferring money at an ATM like many do now, or by paying with a credit card.

The new service is part of a wide-ranging new national e-payment scheme and digital economy drive by the government.

It remains to be seen, however, whether security issues such as malware or viruses as well as privacy and government trust issues will impede widespread adoption of the new system.

Online bank screen and ID card is a combination that will be used frequently to make payments or cash transfers.


Under PromptPay, people can transfer money online to recipients who hold accounts at different banks, or even the same banks in so-called "cross-clearing zones" free of charge.

Users are required to sign up to link their ID card or mobile phone number to accounts at participating banks.

The new national e-payment system is expected to heat up competition among banks and financial institutions.

The new system will lead to an overall higher number of bank accounts being linked with mobile phones or ID cards and increased use of e-payment instead of cash or credit card (a "network effect" see here).

Banks are promoting the use of Promptpay in a big way.


To date 9.7 million people have signed up for PromptPay pre- registration, which runs until tomorrow (14/07/2016).

Around 8.1 million persons registered with ID cards, while the rest registered through mobile phone numbers.

Most of the 15 commercial banks and four state-owned banks have opened pre- registration for PromptPay. Official registration begins on July 15.


Low-income earners whose daily income is no more than 300 baht could be eligible to receive government welfare and subsidies to be paid through the national e-payment's electronic purse, according to Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong.

About 20 million people who earn less than 100,000 baht a year are estimated to qualify for the welfare scheme.

Recipients must be Thai nationals and be aged at least 18. Sign ups are being held at state-owned banks from July 15.

ID cards being run through scanners to make payments, not just credit cards will soon be a common sight.


The electronic purse will allow the poor who do not have bank accounts to receive government subsidies.

Senior citizens will also be able to receive the government's living allowance via the cards.

With the electronic purse, holders can touch the cards on readers to get free rides or pay fares at a half price for public buses and trains.


Some people may have mixed feelings about doing all their banking through a government controlled e-payment system.

The new computer crimes bill does not seem to have adequate privacy safeguards according to critics (see telecoms expert Don Sambandaraksa on these issues here). Several recent news stories indicate that government websites also seem to have little security and be easy to hack with personal information stolen or made public.

E-payment customers could be liable if their mobile phones are infected with malware, viruses or if the phone has been jailbreaked, a senior Bank of Thailand (BOT) official has declared.

"If carelessness is proved, then liability will fall on customers"

"Banks have a method to prove whether customers [are responsible for losses of e-money]," said Budsakorn Teerapunyachai, director of the risk management and information system examination department.

"Banks have a condition stating that customers should not jailbreak their mobile phones due to the risk of viruses, but if customers refuse to comply and [hackers] are able to steal their information and engage in [illicit] transactions, then banks are not responsible."


You may not know whether your phone has been infected by malware or a virus, but there are precautions that you can take.

Browsing an online link sent from a friend via a chat app is a common way for computer viruses and malware to infect a mobile phone.


Financial institutions and the central bank's Financial Consumer Protection Centre (FCC) offer advice and guidance on consumer awareness regarding mobile phone usage to avoid online fraud and being hacked, including taking the following measures:

1. Installing anti - virus programs.

2. Setting a password that is not easy to access.

3. Preventing jailbreaking.

4. Avoiding an app download that is not authentic.


In cases where money is hacked via a digital channel such as mobile phones or internet banking, banks are not likely to take responsibility for the fraud.

Banks, however, conduct investigations on a case-by-case basis.

If it is proven that such fraud was the result of the banking system, that particular bank will have to shoulder responsibility.

If a consumer transfers e-money to a wrong bank account, then that person should notify the bank or the FCC right away.


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  • access: having the opportunity to have or use something - มีโอกาสในการใช้
  • according to (prep): as stated or reported by somebody/something - ตามคำบอกเล่า, ตามรายงาน
  • account: bank account; money kept in a bank - บัญชี
  • adequate: good enough or large enough for a particular purpose - พอเพียง
  • adoption (noun): starting to use something new - การนำมาใช้, การรับเป็นของตน
  • advice: an opinion or a suggestion about what somebody should do in a particular situation - คำแนะนำ
  • anti (adjective): against - ตรงกันข้าม, ต้าน
  • application (app): a program designed to do a particular job; a piece of software - โปรแกรมใช้งาน, โปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์
  • authentic: real, not false or copied - ของแท้
  • avoid: to stay away from; to not use - หลีกเลี่ยง
  • awareness: knowing that something exists, or having knowledge or experience of a particular thing - การรับรู้, การทราบ, ความตระหนัก
  • browse: to look for information on a computer, especially on the Internet - ค้นหาหรืออ่านเอกสารบนอินเตอร์เนต
  • carelessness: not giving enough attention and thought to what you are doing, so that you make mistakes - ความไม่ระมัดระวัง
  • case-by-case basis: considering cases one by one - โดยพิจารณาเป็นกรณีไป
  • central bank (noun): the main government bank in a country that controls the supply of loans (credit) and the supply of money in the country and provides financial services to the government and other banks - ธนาคารแห่งชาติ
  • channel (noun): a method for doing something - วิธีการ, ช่องทาง
  • chat: a friendly informal conversation - การพูดคุย
  • commercial bank (noun): a bank with branches in many different places, that provides a range of services, especially related to bank accounts, loans and saving money, for people and businesses; the kind of bank that most people use - ธนาคารพาณิชย์, สถาบันการเงินที่มุ่งเน้นการรับฝากเงิน
  • common: ordinary; not unusual or special - ที่เกิดขึ้นทุกวัน, ธรรมดา
  • competition: an organised event in which people try to win prizes by being better than other people - การแข่งขัน
  • comply (verb): to obey a rule, law, agreement, etc. or do what someone asks you to do - ปฏิบัติตาม (กฎหมาย, ข้อเสนอ, ข้อตกลง etc.)
  • condition: something that must be done before another thing can happen - เงื่อนไข
  • conduct: to carry out — - ดำเนิน
  • consumer: someone who buys and uses goods and services - ผู้บริโภค
  • critic: a person who expresses disapproval of somebody/something and talks about their bad qualities, especially publicly - ผู้วิจารณ์, ผู้จับผิด, ผู้วิเคราะห์
  • customer (noun): a person or an organisation that buys something from a shop/store or business - ลูกค้า
  • daily (adj.): happening, done or produced every day - แต่ละวัน, ทุกวัน
  • daily basis: every day; daily - แต่ละวัน, ทุกวัน
  • declare: to announce officially that something is true or happening - ประกาศ ยืนยัน
  • director: one of a group of senior managers who run a company - กรรมการบริษัท
  • drive: a planned effort to achieve something - การผลักดัน,ความพยายาม
  • due to: because of - เนื่องจาก
  • eligible: allowed by rules or laws to do something or to receive something - มีสิทธิ
  • engage in: to take part in a particular activity - มีส่วนร่วมใน
  • examination (noun.): inspection, investigation, looking closely at the facts and details in a case in order to make a decision or judgement - การตรวจสอบ, การพิจารณาอย่างละเอียด
  • expect (verb): to think or believe that something will happen or that somebody will do something - คาด, คาดว่า, คาดการณ์
  • finance minister (noun): the minister in charge of managing the country's money กระทรวงการคลัง - รัฐมนตรีกระทรวงการคลัง
  • financial: involving money - เกี่ยวกับเงิน, ทางการเงิน
  • financial institution: a business which helps its customers manage money, e.g., a bank, insurance company, etc. - สถาบันการเงิน
  • fraud: something (or someone) that deceives people by not being what it seems to be; bogus - ไม่แท้ การโกง การหลอกลวง
  • free of charge: free, can get without paying money -
  • guidance: help and advice about how to do something or about how to deal with problems - การแนะแนว, การแนะนำ
  • hack: to secretly find a way of looking at and/or changing information on somebody else's computer system without permission - เจาะเข้าโปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์อย่างผิดกฎหมาย
  • hacker: a person who secretly finds a way of looking at and/or changing information on somebody else's computer system without permission - ผู้ที่มีความชำนาญในการใช้คอมพิวเตอร์ไปในทางที่ผิดกฎหมาย เช่น แอบขโมยข้อมูลจากคอมพิวเตอร์ในเครือข่าย
  • heat up: increase; make more intense -
  • ID card: identification card; an official card or a document that can prove who you are - บัตรประชาชน
  • illicit: against the law - ผิดกฎหมาย
  • impede: to delay or stop the progress of something - กีดขวาง, กั้นขวาง
  • income: money that someone gets from working or from investing money - รายได้
  • infected: having been affected by disease or disease carrying substance - ซึ่งติดเชื้อ
  • install: to put a piece of equipment somewhere and make it ready for use - ติดตั้ง
  • investigation: the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened - การสอบสวน, การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
  • issue: a problem that needs to be considered - ประเด็น
  • jailbreak: when the operating system of a mobile or tablet, such as Apple iOS products, is opened up with restrictions on installing programs lifted -
  • liability: (legal) responsibility for something or someone - ความรับผิดชอบ
  • liability (noun): the amount of money that a person or company owes - หนี้สิน
  • liable (adj): legally responsible for (often for causing damage or injury) - มีความรับผิดชอบตามกฎหมาย
  • link: a connection - การเชื่อมต่อ
  • link: to connect - เชื่อม
  • linked: connected - เชื่อมโยง
  • malware: software such as a virus that is designed to damage, destroy or steal information on a computer - รูปแบบหนึ่งของโปรแกรมคอมพิวเตอร์ ที่ถูกออกแบบมาด้วยจุดประสงค์แอบแฝงบางอย่าง
  • method: a particular way of doing something - วิธีการ,วิธีดำเนินการ
  • mixed feelings: having several different emotions or feelings - ความรู้สึกที่แตกต่างกัน
  • national (adjective): for the whole country - แห่งชาติ, ของชาติ
  • notify: to tell someone officially about something - แจ้ง
  • official: done by people in authority or decided by the government; announced publicly - เป็นทางการ
  • official: someone with an important position in an organisation - เจ้าหน้าที่
  • online: controlled by or connected to a computer or to the Internet - ออนไลน์, การเชื่อมต่อผ่านระบบเครือข่ายทางคอมพิวเตอร์
  • overall (adj): total; including all the things or people that are involved in a particular situation; general - ทั้งหมด, โดยทั่วไป
  • participating: taking part in something - เข้าร่วม
  • password: the secret word that you use to get entry into your computer account - รหัสผ่าน
  • personal: your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else - เป็นส่วนตัว
  • pre-: before -
  • precaution: an action taken to protect people or things against possible harm or trouble - การป้องกันไว้ก่อน
  • prevent (verb): to stop somebody from doing something; to stop something from happening - ขัดขวาง, ป้องกัน, กัน, กีดขวาง
  • privacy: the freedom to do things without other people watching you or knowing what you are doing - ความเป็นส่วนตัว
  • protection: the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected - การอารักขา, การปกป้อง
  • prove: to use facts, evidence, etc. to show that something is true - พิสูจน์
  • public: open to people in general - สาธารณะ
  • recipients: people who receive something - ผู้รับ
  • refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
  • regard: to consider or have an opinion about something or someone - เห็นว่า,ถือว่า
  • register: to put your name and other information on an official list in order to be allowed to do something, e.g., vote, study, stay in a hotel etc - ลงทะเบียน
  • registration: the process of recording names or information on an official list - การขึ้นทะเบียน, การลงทะเบียน
  • remains to be seen: don't know what will happen yet -
  • require: to make somebody do or have something, especially because it is necessary according to a particular law or set of rules - บังคับใช้ (กฎหมาย) กำหนด
  • responsible: deserving to be blamed for something that has happened - มีความรับผิดชอบ
  • responsible for: deserving to be blamed for something that has happened - มีความรับผิดชอบ
  • revolutionise: to completely change something so that it is much better - ทำให้เกิดการเปลี่ยนแปลงอย่างสิ้นเชิง
  • right away: immediately; now - โดยทันทีทันใด, อย่างทันที
  • risk: the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen - ความเสี่ยง
  • safeguard: to protect something/somebody from loss, harm or damage; to keep something/somebody safe - ป้องกัน, ปกป้อง, คุ้มครอง, อารักขา
  • security: protection; safety from attack, harm, or damage - ความมั่นคง, ระบบรักษาความปลอดภั, ความปลอดภัย
  • senior: with a high rank or position - อาวุโส
  • shoulder: to deal with or accept something difficult - แบกรับภาระ หรือสถานการณ์
  • sign up (verb): to join something and become a member by giving your signature, join up, sign on - เซ็นชื่อเข้า, ลงชื่อเข้าร่วม
  • signed up: joined something and became a member by giving signature, join up, sign on - เซ็นชื่อเข้า, ลงชื่อเข้าร่วม
  • state: government - รัฐบาล
  • steal: to take something from a person, shop/store, etc. without permission and without intending to return it or pay for it - ขโมย
  • stolen (verb): (past participle of steal) illegally taken from someone/somewhere - กริยาช่องที่ 3 ของ steal ถูกขโมย, โจรกรรม
  • subsidy: an amount of money that the government or another organisation pays to help to reduce the cost of a service or product - เงินสนับสนุน (the verb form is subsidise)
  • transaction: a business dealing - การติดต่อทางธุรกิจ
  • transfer: to officially arrange for someone else to be the owner of something - โอน
  • trust: a feeling of confidence in someone that shows you believe they are honest, fair, and reliable - ความเชื่อใจ, ความไว้วางใจ
  • usage (noun): how much someone uses a service, measured in minutes, for example - การใช้
  • virus (noun): a living thing, too small to be seen without a microscope, that causes infectious disease in people, animals and plants - เชื้อไวรัส
  • welfare: help given, especially by the state or an organization, to people who need it; good care and living conditions - สวัสดิการ
  • wide-ranging: covering many subjects -
  • widespread: happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people - อย่างแพร่หลาย
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