Bt126B in benefits for Bangkok switch to digital pay: Visa study

Corporate December 01, 2017 10:54

By The Nation

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Residents, businesses and the government of Bangkok could realise Bt126 billion-worth of economic benefits by transitioning from physical money to digital payments, according to an independent study conducted by Roubini ThoughtLab and commissioned by Visa.

Visa said the results examine the economic impact of increasing the use of digital payments in major cities around the world. As a “digitally transitioning” city, Bangkok is among the six global metropolises selected for the study, representing one of the five different stages of digital payment maturity.

“As more people move from rural to urban areas, cities become the nexus for the adoption of electronic payments,” said Suripong Tantiyanon, country manager for Visa Thailand. 

The study was the first to examine net benefits from adopting digital payments at a city level.

The research found that a shift to electronic payments “will benefit people, businesses and government not just in big cities like Bangkok, but other urban centres such as Phuket and Khon Khaen as well,” said Suripong.

For Bangkok, widespread use of electronic payments could generate an estimated increase of Bt126 billion to the city’s economy – with consumers, businesses and government realising net benefits of B3 billion, Bt73 billion, and Bt50 billion, respectively, according to a Friday press release from Visa.

Estimated net benefits are derived from factors including time savings while conducting and processing banking, retail and transit transactions; increased sales revenues from an extended customer base both online and in-store; increased tax revenues and economic growth; cost savings; and reduced cash-related crime, among others.

The many existing and emerging payment technologies will drive wider adoption of electronic payments, said Suripong.

Cities like Bangkok, we will see the emergence of choices among electronic payment options, “giving consumers and businesses the choices on how to pay and get paid,” said Suripong. Standardised QR Code, for example could be adapted beyond its current role as a money transfer tool. Mainstream methods, such as the debit chip card will also likely see increased use and acceptance, he added.