MFP seminar talks govt's digital wallet
text size

MFP seminar talks govt's digital wallet

A woman holds a piece of paper with a message supporting the government’s 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme. (Bangkok Post file photo)
A woman holds a piece of paper with a message supporting the government’s 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Move Forward Party (MFP) has suggested the government revise the conditions for the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme so that it benefits small businesses more than larger corporations.

The party hosted a seminar on the scheme on Saturday, with Sirikanya Tansakul, MFP deputy leader, leading the discussion.

The government announced details of the scheme on April 10. It will allow those aged 16 or over whose income is less than 70,000 baht a month and who have less than 500,000 baht in their account to spend digital money at small businesses on foods and consumer goods.

Ms Sirikanya raised a question about the definition of a small business, which she has yet to be drawn clearly. The government defines small businesses roughly as stores excluding supermarkets, department stores, discount stores and wholesale stores. She said the definition was too wide as it would cover large convenience store chains.

This led to more limitations for the actual small businesses like small grocery shops or vendors, she said. These included a requirement that those small shops or vendors must have tax registration and be approved to join the scheme by the Finance Ministry first.

In addition, they will not receive cash right after a customer pays for a good or service from their digital wallet.

Those small shops need to use the digital money they receive from their customers to pay for goods or services in supermarkets, discount stores or stores that charge VAT, not at fresh markets. So, it would be those second-tier shops, which are normally big players, who benefit from the scheme, she said.

The criteria for store applications should be changed to attract smaller businesses and prevent spending from being confined to larger corporations. Since the government is not planning to open registration for at least three months, Ms Sirikanya argued there is enough time to revise the criteria.

The government plans to use the "Tang Rat" app for the scheme. However, Natthaphong Ruengpanyawut, the other MFP MP on the panel, doubted the app would be ready by the fourth quarter.

Separately, Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said the sooner the scheme starts, the better for the economy, but some aspects still need to be discussed.

He also suggested the government use the "Pao Tang" application instead of developing a new one because the users would be familiar with it.

Do you like the content of this article?