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Bangkok street food goes digital

Thai vendors embrace QR

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Bangkok's famous street-food vendors have joined the digital revolution. They are embracing payment via Quick Response (QR) barcodes that can be read using smartphones.

Vendors in the capital are offering digital transactions after the Bank of Thailand (BoT) last week gave the green light for five banks, including Bangkok Bank and Siam Commercial Bank, to start using electronic payment systems with QR codes.

"The global trend is towards a 'cashless society.' It's convenient and there is proof of transaction. The QR code system is practical in Thailand because vendors don't have to invest too much," Somsak Khaosuwan, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, told Reuters.

At one Bangkok market, vendors said the QR codes were proving popular. However, some shoppers still prefer to use cash, particularly those who are less tech-savvy.

"I don't need to worry about finding change. But some customers, especially older people, find it a bit of a hassle," said Kitti Khoonphisitwong, 40, a dried-fruit vendor.

Shoppers in their 20s and 30s were more likely to use the system.

Scams using fake QR codes are on the rise in China. Mr Somsak said Thailand needs to ensure QR payment systems are secure.

"We need to make people feel comfortable using the system," he said. 

Mobile QR payments are one of the issues to be discussed in the three-day "Thailand E-commerce Week 2017" event starting Thursday at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.

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Vocabulary:

convenient : easy to do, or not causing problems or difficulties - สะดวก

hassles : situations causing difficulty or trouble - ความยุ่งยาก

invest : to spend money on something in order to make it better or more successful - ลงทุน

practical : suitable for the situation in which something is used - ที่ขึ้นอยู่กับความเป็นจริง

proof : information, documents, etc. that show that something is true - การพิสูจน์

savvy : having practical knowledge or understanding of something - รู้,เข้าใจ, มีความรู้ความสามารถ

scam : a dishonest plan, especially for getting money - กลโกง, แผนร้าย

secure : safe from attack or harm - ปลอดภัย

transaction : a business dealing - การติดต่อทางธุรกิจ

trend : a gradual change or development that produces a particular result   - ทิศทาง แนวโน้ม

vendor : someone who sells something, but often not in a shop - พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย

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