More Thais see cashless future

Local consumers largely believe that Thailand will become a cashless society in the next seven years, as shown by improved prospects for cashless payment, says Visa Thailand.

Mr Suripong says 68% of Thai consumers see the country becoming a cashless society within seven years.

According to the 2018 Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes survey, 68% of Thai consumers see Thailand becoming a cashless society within seven years, up from 35% in 2017, said country manager Suripong Tantiyanon.

Of those surveyed, 39% expect Thailand to become a cashless society in the next four to seven years, up from 24% a year earlier, while 29% say it will take less than three years.

The survey tracked payment behaviour from 4,000 consumers in eight Southeast Asian countries, including 500 respondents in Thailand with a minimum income of 15,000 baht per month.

Mr Suripong said the positive trend of Thailand moving towards a cashless society is supported by the government's national e-payment scheme, particularly the PromptPay money transfer platform, as well as collaboration among financial institutions, merchants and consumers.

"Thailand ranks among the top countries in the region with positive signs of becoming a cashless society, as Thai consumers are open-minded about e-payment," he said.

Some 57% of Thai consumers use digital payment methods, including plastic cards via mobile app, mobile banking and QR payment, compared with 43% who use cash for payment, according to the survey.

Visa found that 42% of Thai consumers carried less cash in the past two years, up from 26% in the 2017 survey. At least 40% of local consumers can manage their payments for one day without cash, 16% are comfortable without cash for a week, and 10% can go for a month or longer.

Despite concerns that enforcement of the E-payment Act could dampen e-payment incentives because of fears of tax collection from social e-commerce sales, this will be a short-term effect, Mr Suripong said.

The impact will fall hardest on small merchants plying their trade on social e-commerce platforms, he said.

"With the digital era, it is difficult to shun the digital payment platform," Mr Suripong said. "If merchants have more options for payment instruments offered to customers at both online and offline channels, they will have greater business opportunities rather than offering no payment choices."

Do you like the content of this article?