Digital wallet 'super app' to link with bank apps
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Digital wallet 'super app' to link with bank apps

Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat speaks to supporters of the digital wallet scheme in October last year. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)
Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat speaks to supporters of the digital wallet scheme in October last year. (Photo: Somchai Poomlard)

The so-called super app earmarked for the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme will work in sync with existing mobile applications for banks on users' phones, according to Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat.

The app, he explained, was developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) and the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA) for use in any digital-based policies. It will use an open-loop solution, which allows wallet users to make purchases at different stores for the sake of wider accessibility with easy-to-use instructions.

Mr Julapun added that anyone eligible for the wallet handout does not have to open a bank account with state-owned financial institutes to receive the money. The "Tang Rat" app, developed by the Interior Ministry and the DGA, is already in use for those who have received a disability or pension so they can check on the payment remittances, said Mr Junlapun. The latest details of the 500-billion-baht digital wallet handout policy were announced on April 10. It is set to be rolled out in the fourth quarter.

Mr Julapun said earlier that the scheme's finances would be obtained from three sources: 152.7 billion baht from the budget for the 2025 fiscal year; 175 billion baht from the reallocation of the budget for the current fiscal year; and 172.3 billion baht in the form of a loan from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

However, Saknarong Siriporn Na Ratchasima, deputy secretary of the Thai Sang Thai Party who is a former BAAC specialist, said a loan of this magnitude could pose a liquidity risk for the bank by destabilising both its prospects of generating revenue and its internal fund.

He said the BAAC would have to find a way to fill the financial void while being burdened with that ongoing debt, including the 230 billion baht in losses incurred by a rice-pledging programme under the former Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

Last year, the BAAC's liquidity remained acceptable, with enough funds in its coffers to sustain its operations. The bank said its liquidity risk management complied with the criteria set by the Bank of Thailand (BoT).

The bank had 287 billion baht of sound assets backing liquidity, set against a liquidity coverage ratio of 15.7%, which exceeds the minimum rate of 8.50% stipulated by the BoT.

"If the BAAC were to issue this huge digital wallet loan while the old debt from the rice-pledging scheme remains unsettled, then its problems would snowball and eventually inhibit the bank's ability to assist farmers, which is what the BAAC is designed to do," Mr Saknarong said.

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