BANK OF THAILAND (BOT) yesterday permitted five financial institutions to exit from the regulatory “sandbox” and to be able to offer QR code payment services to the general public.
The five institutions – Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, Bangkok Bank and Government Saving Bank – have met all regulatory criteria for providing QR-code payment services through the PromptPay system.
Those key criteria cover the readiness and robustness of their IT system, risk management, consumer protection, and security. In addition, they include standards for serving consumers continuously and efficiently through the operations of their branches and call centres, said Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya, BOT’s assistant governor for payment systems policy and financial technology group.
While only five banks have attained approval so far, other banks that are testing their QR code payment projects are also making good progress and BOT expects to see them similarly progress.
The BOT, financial institutions, non-bank payment service providers, and international card schemes have jointly developed the Thai QR code standard for e-payment, which complies with the international standard. The BOT has allowed eight financial institutions to test their payment projects using the QR code standard through their mobile applications in the BOT’s regulatory sandbox.
The QR code payment services of the five banks have been developed on the PromptPay system. Customers could use the mobile applications from those banks to scan the merchant’s standard QR code to make their payments promptly.
In a related matter, yesterday Krungthai Card announced that KTC is Thailand’s first credit card company to accept QR code payments via credit cards. It said it would offer a world-class credit card network, which supports a two-way payment system between the issuer and the acquirer.
KTC executive vice president for IT, Woottichai Jarernpolecutive, said that this year KTC made an array of technological advancements, both behind the scenes as well as in the spotlight. They range from the relocation and adjustment of the data centre, to the revamping and addition of new features in the “TapKTC” mobile application, including biometric verification to identify the user as well as an e-coupon feature.
Recently KTC developed the system to support an additional form of credit card payment for goods and services through the QR code payment in the “TapKTC” mobile application, the bank announced. The app has been approved through the BOT regulatory sandbox and will be released to the public from November 16 onwards.
The “QR code payment” which KTC is endorsing makes use of standardised QR Code for payments from both the issuer and the acquirer, the bank announced.
“This form of payment will support the two world-class credit card networks, Visa and Mastercard, and will additionally cover other payment networks in the near future,” the bank said. “Credit card holders will be able to purchase goods and services using the QR Code and have the power to control their payments (push payments), which is different from the traditional card purchase transaction where the transactions are initiated by the acquirers (pull payments).”
The QR Code Payment system is more convenient and reduces the payment processes by simply scanning the merchant’s QR Code and then follows only few payment steps through the TapKTC mobile application. The application will process the payment to the Card’s issuer and the acquirer for an approval. There will also be push notifications, which will be displayed in the application as well as sent to the user’s email after the payment for goods and services are successfully processed. Simultaneously, the acquirer will also receive a notification of the successful payment through the TapKTC Merchant application.
While the application is in its trial period under the regulatory sandbox, customers can make payments for goods and services through the KTC QR Code Payment in four main areas, including Or Tor Kor Market (the Marketing Organisation for Farmers), Lung Perm Market (Thai Airways Market), Huamum Market Kaset-Navamin and at stores in the areas of Sukhumvit 31 and 33 roads.
KTC received approval for a full scale KTC QR Code Payment test run. Since September 25, the bank has been doing an internal soft launch with focus groups comprising KTC employees. The test run covered three stores to control the service for both the issuer and acquirer.