Bank of Thailand Joins Efforts to Expedite ASEAN-wide Payment Scheme

May 3, 2019

Thailand’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand (BoT), is joining efforts to accelerate the introduction of a central payment system being implemented across the ASEAN regional bloc.

BoT Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said a task force had been established to guide the inception of the QR code-based system for use in all 10 ASEAN member countries.

According to The Nation, the central bank governor had been attending a conference on advancing the goal of payment connectivity throughout the region, saying commercial banks would be invited to join the task force going forward. They are also expected to be called in for discussions on projects, with the QR code payment system possibly being launched later this year depending on how soon arrangements are finalized.

For their part, ASEAN member states must agree on how payment data will be transmitted under a uniform standard, factoring in variables such as different currencies, the range of merchants, and the codes involved.

A number of Thai banks have already developed international payment systems, though they have been limited to bilateral payments. If the central payment system is successfully implemented, all Thai banks including Bangkok Bank will be able to offer customers the option of scanning QR codes of banks in other ASEAN bloc nations to enable payments through their mobile banking platforms.

To address an anticipated rise in mobile banking transactions among ASEAN member countries, the QR code would initially be expected to boost transactions by around 10-20%.

Veerathai noted that the system would draw on existing technology currently being developed for ASEAN payment connectivity, making it more cost-effective, while also utilizing blockchain-backed transfers for greater efficiency.


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