Thailand’s digital wallet project: Green light to make cash splash

Picture courtesy of Voice TV.

The government of Thailand has given the green light for the formation of a committee for its ambitious digital money handout scheme, otherwise known as the digital wallet project. Slated for launch in February, the initiative aims to stimulate the economy by providing each Thai citizen above the age of 16 with 10,000 baht (US$269) in digital money.

The project, requiring a hefty fund of around 560 billion baht, is targeted at specific expenditure areas to boost short-term economic activity.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has been named the chair of the newly formed committee. Deputy prime ministers and ministers for commerce, foreign affairs, and interior, Phumtham Wechayachai, Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara, and Anutin Charnvirakul respectively, serve as the deputy chairs alongside the digital economy and society minister, Prasert Chantararuangthong.

In a show of prompt action, the 61 year old prime minister has already convened the inaugural meeting of the panel for this week, which Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat confirmed could be held either tomorrow or Friday.

Julapun, a member of the committee, outlined its primary function as the oversight and approval of the digital wallet scheme’s execution plan, including the precise budget allocation and its sources, reported Bangkok Post.

In addition, the committee will monitor the project’s progress, addressing any problems or setbacks that might occur. A key focus is to ensure a corruption-free implementation. All committee proceedings will be reported directly to the Cabinet.

Addressing concerns about potential violations of the Bank of Thailand’s (BoT) laws and regulations, Julapun reiterated that the government had already cleared this with the BoT, who affirmed that the project was not in breach of any rules.

In terms of technology, the digital wallet programme will utilise blockchain, touted as the most transparent technology available, confirmed Julapun.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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