Paypal shuts out foreigners in Thailand

Foreigners in Thailand will no longer be able to use personal Paypal accounts from December 15 to send and receive money and pay for goods online. Thais may continue using their personal accounts if they verify their identity through the National Digital ID (NDID) platform before November 30.

Paypal is making big changes to comply with Thailand’s crackdown on money laundering.

Registered business accounts will not be affected by the upcoming changes. Foreigners with a Thai-registered business can sign up for a business account, no Thai national ID or enrolment in the NDID is required.

In a statement, Paypal said…

“Financial services providers like PayPal are obliged under Thai law to verify the identity of their customers, which helps us keep PayPal safe for everyone using it.”

Alternatives to Paypal include ‘Skrill,’ which has lower transaction costs than Paypal, and ‘Payoneer,’ which works well for freelancers and small businesses.

For those who wish to make regular international transactions, ‘Wise’ is a cheap and easy service to use with lower fees than Paypal.

In another effort to combat money laundering, Thailand is also making ID verification a requirement at cash deposit machines (CDMs).

People wishing to deposit money into their bank account using a CDM in Thailand will soon need to insert their credit or debit card and PIN to verify their identity.

Currently, all you need is an account number to deposit money, meaning anyone can deposit large amounts of cash into a bank account that isn’t theirs at the machines so long as they know their account number.

Thailand’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) said the new ID requirement is a safety measure to prevent money laundering earned from drug trafficking, gambling, and other criminal activity.

After 11 banks came on board with the new CDM rule, it was set to be enforced on November 15. However, the introduction of the new rule will be postponed amid backlash from customers of all of Thailand’s major banks.

Many people in Thailand do not use debit cards as all transactions can be made digitally through mobile banking these days. Customers complained that the new CDM rule would mean they would need to register and pay for a debit card, which is inconvenient.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and Thai Bankers Association (TBA) are currently in discussions with AMLO about whether it could be possible to verify your identity at a CDM in a different way, such as using an OTP or internet banking instead of a debit card.

Thailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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