02 May 2018
Real-Time Payments Powering Thai Businesses
Since PromptPay was launched in January 2017, real-time payments have been revolutionising how the country’s business and inhabitants transact. The success speaks for itself; PromptPay has 40 million registrants (way over half of the population), with 173 million transactions and 700 billion baht (GBP 15.8 billion) in money transfer value.[i]
The service which sits upon Thailand’s real-time platform, allows registered customers to transfer funds using a mobile phone with only the mobile number or Citizen ID number of the recipient. It can also be used to receive payments from government agencies, for example, social security benefits, retirement payments, and tax refunds.
The draw for many Thai citizens was being able to receive government payments in real-time, rather than waiting days or potentially weeks, to receive a cheque, travel to the nearest bank to pay it into their bank accounts, and then wait a few more business days for it to clear.
However, the advanced capabilities of PromptPay soon became clear to many people, particularly those that owned, or wanted to start their own businesses. Real-time payments processed on a secure platform without the need to exchange banking details has been revolutionary. Furthermore, new features released this year such as an e-wallet, bill payment and a Request to Pay functionality have been proving hugely popular, especially as the e-wallet capability means that citizens don’t even need to have a bank account to benefit, just a smartphone.
Last year, we interviewed a selection of Thailand’s entrepreneurs and small business owners to learn about how PromptPay had changed their lives for the better. The ‘Convenience and Benefits’ suite of videos demonstrate the positive impact that real-time payments have had on this ambitious nation that clearly possesses a strong entrepreneurial spirit. From giving people the confidence to start a second job and being able to work when it’s convenient for them, to providing stay-at-home mothers with the opportunity to make a living, real-time payments now enables anyone with a smartphone to both buy and sell with convenience.
Whether its bike parts or teeth whitening products, the instant transfer of funds via PromptPay is not only revolutionising the way business is done now but is also stimulating and supporting a whole new generation of entrepreneurs. With smart phone penetration expected to increase to 43% by 2022 in Thailand[ii], the world will watch closely to see how the Thai nation continues to rapidly evolve and progress as a result of PromptPay.