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Two-bank consortium to bid for EDC installation


A CONSORTIUM comprising Bangkok Bank and Kasikornbank is ready to submit a bid for the installation of electronic data capture (EDC) devices, the second phase of the national e-payment plan, to the Finance Ministry on January 27, said Shoke Na Ranong, executive vice president of Bangkok Bank.

Another consortium consisting of six banks – Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, Bank of Ayudhya, Thanachart Bank, TMB Bank and the Government Savings Bank – will also put in a bid on the same day.
The EDC fee charged merchants that accept plastic cards on the devices will be 0.55 per cent per transaction, lower than the previous plan of 0.75 per cent, in order to attract merchants, Shoke said.
In general, merchants will pay around 1.5-1.8 per cent per transaction to EDC providers.
Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said a committee he heads would meet on January 27 to finalise the national e-payment plan, including when the PromptPay system would be made fully operational and when EDC devices would be installed.
“The date for official consumer-to-consumer money transfers via PromptPay will be known after the meeting on January 27. The implementation of such transfers via PromptPay was delayed from last year,” he said.
PromptPay has been used for government-to-consumer money transfers, including the tax refunds.
According to the Finance Ministry, there are 800,000 merchants in the tax system, of which 400,000 have EDC points. Therefore, the remaining 400,000 merchants are the focus of banks.
Under the national e-payment plan, the government wants to reduce the use of cash, and the EDC expansion is part of that effort.
The Bank of Thailand is in charge of the terms of reference of for the EDC-installation bid.
Shoke said Bangkok Bank had 15 million debit cards and 2 million credit cards in circulation.
Yesterday, the bank and the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University jointly launched the Platinum Rabbit Siriraj Bangkok Bank credit card. In 2015, the same two partners jointly launched the Be1st Smart Rabbit Siriraj debit card.
For every new Be1st Smart Rabbit Siriraj debit card issued, the bank will donate Bt100 to the Faculty of Medicine Siriraj Hospital. It will also donate to the faculty 0.2 per cent of the value of purchases made with the cards.
So far, the Be1st Smart Rabbit Siriraj Card has been able to attract 600,000 new debit-card holders. 
The bank believes the new Platinum Rabbit Siriraj Bangkok Bank credit card, which has similar features to the Be1st card as well as new features such as zero interest for three monthly instalments when the cardholders spend between Bt5,000 and Bt100,000 at the hospital, will get warm feedback as well.
Shoke said the bank targeted issuing 30,000 new Platinum Rabbit Siriraj Bangkok Bank credit cards. For the whole year, the bank projects issuing 450,000 new credit cards and the outstanding credit cards should be around 2 million, similar to the end of last year.
He added that the bank wanted to expand its customer base with people earning as low as Bt15,000 a month, adding that even though the new credit card is Platinum, such people could apply for it.
 

Published : January 17, 2017

By :   SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN THE NATION