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Thai Banker’s Association and BoT raise transfer cap

The entire national mobile banking system has fallen short of expectations this year, and bankers are raising the amount allowed in a single transfer to try to cut down on the number of transactions, according to recent report.

The Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA) have agreed to raise the ceiling on fund transfer amounts to 700,000 baht per transaction via the online channel from the current 50,000 baht, starting Monday, in the latest attempt to prevent a repeat of a recent system outage.

The higher transaction amount for both internet and mobile banking platforms will help lower number of transactions and, in turn, smooth out money transfers, according to the central bank’s deputy governor.

The governor added that the new limitation will help ease traffic of the overall system. With the current maximum amount of 50,000 baht per transaction, those who need to transfer more than the threshold must split transferred money into more than one transaction.

Each bank will later set its own maximum amount for money transfers over PromptPay-based online channels, she said, adding that consumers can also set their own maximum money transfer amount to meet their own needs.

Banks earlier this month agreed to double mobile banking transaction capacity during peak periods by year-end to prevent a future system crash after last month’s technological glitch that delayed millions of transactions.

An arm of the Thai bankers association, aimed to double capacity for banks’ financial transactions and the National Interbank Transaction Management and Exchange Co (ITMX).

The measures came after banks experienced a technological glitch in August 2018. The system crash started at a major Thai banking group’s core switch because of human error on the internal network, disrupting other banks’ system for several hours and forcing ITMX to remove the bank from the central system.

The bank which is the country’s largest mobile banking provider by users had total mobile banking transactions of 5.3 million on the last day of August 2018 which brought the total for the month to 122 million.

Money transfer via digital platform has surged after banks waived fees for cross-zone and interbank money transfers, top-ups and bill payments on the digital channel from late March.

In related news, a major international credit card company with branches in Thailand launched a credit card-based quick response (QR) payment in collaboration with seven card issuers. The innovative payment technology lets holders of these cards link their cards to mobile devices and scan to pay.

Apart from the existing seven card issuers joining with the credit card company to offer QR credit card payment, another five financial institutions are in the pipeline, according to the credit card company’s Thailand country manager, who said so without revealing names.

The cooperation will expand QR credit card spending at small merchants, including street vendors and those in wet markets, stated the country manager adding that now cardholders can scan to pay at some noodle shops.

Digital payments are expected to gradually transform the country into a cashless society. Cash payment account for 72% of the country’s total retail payment volume.

Credit card issuers testing out QR payment in the central bank’s regulatory sandbox have continued to exit.

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