An electronic payment (e-payment), in short, can be simply defined as paying for goods or services on the internet. It includes all financial operations using electronic devices, such as computers, smartphones or tablets. E-payments come with various methods, like credit or debit card payments or bank transfers. Note that one of the most popular and common online payment methods nowadays are credit cards.
In general, e-payments are considered a fast and secure alternative to traditional payment methods, such as bank transfers, checks, etc. Accepting electronic payments comes with lots of benefits for both merchants (of any size) and consumers.
Moreover, electronic payments are highly effective for international transactions. It is generally cheaper, easier and faster than other payment methods.
Thailand’s average digital payment transactions are expected to triple to 150 transactions per person, per year, sooner than previously forecast. This is due to the fact that there have been a prominent increase in the launch of digital banking services by Thai banks over the last few years. These include services such as electronic data capture (EDC) terminals and the availability of PromptPay, QR code payment and mobile banking services.
PromptPay, the electronic payment service under the Thai government's e-payment plan, has stopped charging for online banking transactions. PromptPay offers free money transfers for up to S$200 (5,000 baht), S$0.08 (2 baht) for over S$200 (5,000 baht), S$0.20 (5 baht) for up to S$4,000 (100,000 baht) and finally, S$0.41 (10 baht) for transfers over S$4,000.
These services are part of the national e-payment scheme, a partnership between state authorities and the private sector. PromptPay has 42.6 million registrants with a cumulative transaction value of S$ 65 million (1.6 trillion baht).
Since the service began in January 2017, 334 million transactions have been made involving money transfer to recipients who tied their citizen ID or mobile phone number to a bank account.
For QR code payment, the number of merchants registered has reached 2 million, though the service has been in operation for less than a year. The number is expected to continue to rise, particularly in remote upcountry areas. The central bank will pay more attention to the adoption of digital payment to boost e-payment transactions.
Banks have applied several models to their traditional outlets to keep up with the demands of each customer group, such as branches for financial advisory services, small and medium-sized businesses or automated banking transactions
Network relocation is another key factor that helps branches accommodate demand in transactions. Almost all branches have been relocated from stand-alone products to dense markets, including shopping malls, which have higher traffic.
The outlook for digital banking services have such promising aspects, propelling Thailand to achieve its Smart Nation 4.0 goals.