National ITMX Co (NITMX), a digital payment infrastructure system developer, has created PromptBiz, a digital payment infrastructure system for the business sector, as part of its upgrade of Thailand's digital payment systems.
The company operates PromptPay, a digital payment system for consumers. It is a fast payment system that instantly sends payments to a recipient's account.
PromptBiz is scheduled to be gradually implemented in the fourth quarter of this year, which will pave the way for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to better access the digital payment platform as well as financial sources, Ronadol Numnonda, deputy governor for financial institutions stability at the Bank of Thailand, said yesterday.
The development will also open up more opportunities for local SMEs to expand into international trade and investment, he added.
Mr Ronadol said PromptPay is a game changer in the development of Thailand's digital payment systems, with the country currently No.1 globally for digital payments and money transfers, especially mobile banking transactions.
Thailand currently connects digital payments with six countries in the region via cross-border fund transfers and a QR cross-border payment facility under the PromptPay channel.
Despite the rising trend of digital payments in Thailand, they represent only 13% of the country's total transactions, with cash still having a large presence. This shows there is an opportunity to encourage greater adoption of digital payments, said Mr Ronadol.
Payong Srivanich, chairman of the Thai Bankers' Association, said PromptBiz would give SMEs better access to loans from financial institutions through information-based lending and alternative data.
Given the deleterious effects of the pandemic on many SMEs, the contribution of the business segment to Thailand's GDP fell from 35.6% in 2019 to 34.8% in 2020 and 34.6% in 2021. As a result, PromptBiz would help strengthen SME business operations, Mr Payong added.
Mr Payong said that as of June this year, PromptPay had 70 million mobile phone numbers registered with it, up 22.1% year-on-year.
Money transfers via the channel total 38.7 million transactions daily, up 59.3% year-on-year. The transactions are worth 121 billion baht, up 37.6% year-on-year.
More people have made payments via a digital channel since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year the cash flow via NITMX was 39 trillion baht, 2.4 times higher than Thailand's GDP.