Micro credit card transactions on the rise

Corporate February 23, 2017 01:00

By SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN
THE NATION

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KRUNGSRI Consumer has witnessed a rising trend in micro-transactions among its credit cardholders, indicating new behaviour on the part of consumers and an adjustment by merchants.



Chairman Thakorn Piyapan said yesterday that the ticket size of Bt300-Bt400, categorised as a micro-transaction, had been on the rise, and that it might in part be as a result of major service provider Visa promoting credit-card usage at convenience stores.

 “We have seen micro-transactions at supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants and coffee shops,” he said. 

 Today’s consumers are more familiar with using plastic cards for making point-of-sale payments, while many merchants who had never previously accepted credit cards have installed electronic data capture (EDC) devices to facilitate cashless users, he added.

 Average credit-card spending per month for all cards issued by Krungsri Consumer is Bt5,800 to Bt5,900, but for active cards, the figure is Bt15,000-Bt17,000.

 However, Thakorn believes the growing trend for credit-card payments will not be in the form of plastic, as customers can now also pay at the point-of-sale by using their mobile devices.

 The Bank of Thailand had had discussions with financial institutions on several occasions over collaboration in developing the use of the standardised QR Code, which can accept both domestic and international credit cards. 

 QR Code is a convenient way for credit cardholders to make payment at point-of-sale outlets that display such code.

 The central bank is encouraging its local adoption to accommodate today’s increasingly mobile world, and wants to see QR Code implemented in the third quarter, Krungsri Consumer’s chairman said. 

 Meanwhile, the company will allow its credit cardholders to use the U Choose mobile application, which it officially launched yesterday, for payment at the point-of-sale.

 It targets 1 million downloads in the first year from its customer base of 7.8 million credit-card account holders, Thakorn said.

 In the first phase of U Choose, Krungsri Consumer will offer users updates on their real-time credit balance and spending, card usage alerts, usage statements, accumulated spending for each promotion and reward points.

 The company expects that when customers are sent location-based promotion alerts and benefit alerts at nearby stores, many will decide to use their credit card to make a purchase.

 It forecasts that the spending of such customers will be 10 per cent higher than their normal credit-card outlay, he explained.

 This year to date, credit-card spending via Krungsri Consumer cards has grown 7 per cent from the same period a year ago.

 However, the figure, while positive, is well below the company’s target of 13 per cent, he said. 

 Although the below-target growth might reflect the subdued economic recovery, credit-card spending should pick up pace next month due to seasonal travel, he suggested.