MASTERCARD, UnionPay International and Visa have launched a Standardised Quick Response (QR) code for payments in Thailand.
The move is in support of the Bank of Thailand’s agenda to drive innovation, interoperability, and security in payments as the country moves towards becoming a cashless society.
Thailand is the first country to see all three of these payment-service providers collaborate to launch the Standardised QR Code. Donald Ong, MasterCard country manager for Thailand and Myanmar, said it was because of the vision of the BOT to back the concept of the cashless society.
Wenhui Yang, general manager of UnionPay International Southeast Asia, said the high penetration rate of smartphones in Thailand, which would pass 50 per cent this year, was another factor.
UnionPay International launched the Standardised QR code in China last year, while MasterCard and Visa did so jointly in India early this year.
The Standardised QR Code is intended to be implemented by banks and merchants across Thailand by the third quarter of 2017.
The Standardised QR Code is simple to set up and use, since consumers do not need to scan different QR codes to make payments, while merchants only need to display one QR code at the storefront or at their bank’s mobile application.
Moreover, this is a global standard, |which means consumers can use the same QR code to make payments everywhere |the standards have been adopted.
To pay, consumers holding a MasterCard, UnionPay or Visa card can use a mobile application with Standardised QR Code support to scan the merchant-present QR Code.
Suripong Tantiyanon, Visa country manager for Thailand, said this system had the potential to accelerate the growth of electronic-payments acceptance in the country. The Standardised QR Code is designed to help merchants reduce the cost of having an electronic data capture (EDC) device.
The success of mVisa worldwide has proved a QR code solution to be scalable, secure, and easy to use.
Ong said that based on MasterCard’s research, half of young consumers across Southeast Asia would use the QR code system straight away, which reflects the demand in Thailand.
Thakorn Piyapan, chairman of Krungsri Consumer and head of digital banking and innovation, Bank of Ayudhya, said the bank would adopt the Standardised QR Code in the third quarter.
Currently, BAY has 2 million mobile banking accounts and has 3.8 million credit cards in circulation.
“Transactions through mobile banking are about three times those at the branches or ATMs,” Thakorn said.
Ruchukorn Siriyodhin, deputy BOT governor for financial institutions stability, said the PromptPay electronic-transaction system now had 27 million registered accounts, generating almost 100,000 transactions per day. As of the end of last year, there were around 21 million mobile banking accounts in Thailand, up 50 per cent from the previous year.