Electronic payment services are encouraged and supported by the government and relevant agencies as a part of the National e-Payment Master Plan, which consists of 4 parts, as follows: 1. PromptPay scheme (facilitation of electronic fund transfers); 2. Debit card usage expansion scheme; 3. E-Tax program; and 4. Social welfare and government e-payment system.
In the past, electronic payment (e-payment) services in Thailand were regulated by the Royal Decree Governing Control and Supervision of an Electronics Payment Service Business B.E. 2551 (2008). However, since April 16, 2018, the new Payment Systems Act, B.E. 2560 (2017) has been in effect, and entirely repealed the Royal Decree. The act is aimed to facili-tate the offering of many new and innovative payment services in Thailand.
The Ministry of Finance has since issued two notifications, both of which also came into ef-fect on April 16, 2018, prescribing the categories for designated payment systems and desig-nated payment services in categories (2) and (3). In addition, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has issued several notifications detailing the rules, procedures, and conditions for applications for licenses and registration, as well as the rules relating to supervising the operation of each payment system and service.
Designated Payment Systems
Under the Ministry of Finance Notification Re: Determining Designated Payment Systems, the following payment systems are regarded as “Designated Payment Systems,” operation of which requires a license from the BOT:
- Inter-institution fund transfer systems
- Payment card networks; and
- Settlement systems
With one or more of the following characteristics:
- Supporting transactions for the overall financial and economic systems of the country;
- Connecting and settling through the BAHTNET system, which is part of the primary national infrastructure; or
- Having more than three users, which may pose risks to the overall financial and economic system of the country, or affect the confidence of the public or the stability of the payment system.
Designated Payment Services
Under the Ministry of Finance Notification Re: Determining Designated Payment Services, payment system businesses that provide any of the following services are deemed to be “Designated Payment Services,” operation of which requires a licence from (or registration with, as the case may be) the BOT:
- Services relating to credit cards, debit cards, and ATM cards, except for cards used to settle payments for goods or services under the same business, or under the same franchise system;
- Electronic money services, subject to certain exemptions;
- Electronic payment services, which includes:
- acquiring business;
- payment facilitation;
- authorized payment reception service; or
- Electronic fund transfers
For ease of reference, the payment systems and services under these three categories are tabulated below:
|Highly Important Payment Systems
||Designated Payment Systems
||Designated Payment Services
||Inter-institution fund transfer system
||The provision of services relating to credit cards, debit cards, and ATM cards
|Imaged Cheque Clearing and Archive Sys-tem (ICAS)
||Payment card network
||Electronic money services
||Electronic payment services
- Acquiring business
- Payment facilitation
- Authorised payment reception service
||Electronic fund transfer
From 2016 – 2018, it is found that the use of digital payment in Thailand has significantly increased. The large number of transaction, payment, and transfer of money are broadly made through mobile phones. According to the statistic provided by the BOT, the payment made via mobile phone has been increased approximately 116 percent per year. These statistic and development can reflect the achievement of national e-payment master plan which is in responsibility of the BOT. To reach the goals of the national plan, the BOT is continuing to promote the use of digital payment, and planning for the further plan.
Athistha (Nop) Chitranukroh
Piyanuj (Lui) Ratprasatporn