Thailand and India to launch QR cross-border payments

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) is set to introduce QR code cross-border payments between Thailand and India by the third quarter of this year, with a broader vision to expand this system into a pan-Asian multinational payment network.

The Assistant Governor for Payment Systems Policy and Financial Consumer Protection Group at the central bank, Daranee Saeju, revealed that the payment connection with India is on track to be operational in the third quarter. This progress is due to collaborative initiatives with countries outside the ASEAN group.

The BoT has already operationalised QR code cross-border payment connections with countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and Japan. These international transactions are facilitated through PromptPay, the national electronic payment platform of Thailand, launched in the year 2016.

In the case of Southeast Asian cousins Singapore, the cross-border payment connections include both QR code payments and remittance services. Daranee indicated that future phases of cross-border payments will incorporate money transfers across regions through multinational linkages. This move will significantly enhance the efficiency of payment systems compared to the current bilateral arrangements.

The cross-border remittance initiative, initially launched with Singapore, is planned to extend to other countries in the region, Daranee added.

Daranee suggested that PromptPay could establish a new transaction record this year, following its historic peak in 2023. Since its inception in 2016, PromptPay transactions have shown consistent growth, particularly during the pandemic.

“Cash transactions have continued to decline since the introduction of PromptPay, making up around 66% of total banking transactions.”

PromptPay presently has 77.6 million registered users. In December of last year, the platform witnessed a record 75.9 million financial transactions per day. On average, daily money transfers via PromptPay last year amounted to 54.5 million, with a total value of 130 billion baht, according to the Bank of Thailand’s Payment Insight report, reported Bangkok Post.

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