Upcoming super app to integrate with digital wallet scheme

Picture courtesy of Thairath

The up-and-coming super app, designed for the 10,000-baht digital wallet scheme, is slated to seamlessly integrate with existing banking applications on users’ smartphones, as per Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat’s statement.

This application, which has been developed in partnership with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (DES) and the Digital Government Development Agency (DGA), is designed to optimise the implementation of digital-centric policies. It will feature an open-loop solution, enabling wallet users to shop at a variety of stores, thereby offering a broad range of accessibility with simple instructions for use.

According to Julapun, individuals who qualify for the wallet giveaway are not required to open bank accounts with state-owned financial institutions to receive the funds. The Tang Rat app, a joint venture by the Interior Ministry and DGA, is already functional for those receiving disability or pension payments, allowing them to track payment remittances. The specifics of the 500-billion-baht (US$13.6 billion) digital wallet dispensation policy were disclosed on April 10, with plans to launch in the fourth quarter.

In a previous statement, Julapun revealed the funding sources for the scheme: a 152.7 billion baht (US$4.2 billion) allocation from the 2025 fiscal year budget; a 175 billion baht (US$4.8 billion) diversion from the current fiscal year’s budget; and a 172.3 billion baht (US$4.7 billion) loan from the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC).

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Saknarong Siriporn Na Ratchasima, Deputy Secretary of the Thai Sang Thai Party and a former BAAC specialist, however, expressed concerns about the loan’s potential liquidity risk to the bank, threatening its revenue generation prospects and internal fund stability.

Saknarong explained that the BAAC will need to address the financial shortfall created by this large debt, in conjunction with the 230 billion baht (US$6.3 billion) in losses from a previous rice-pledging programme under the Yingluck Shinawatra administration.

In the previous year, the BAAC maintained satisfactory liquidity, with sufficient reserves to maintain its operations. The bank confirmed its liquidity risk management met the Bank of Thailand’s (BoT) established criteria, reported Bangkok Post.

With 287 billion baht (US$7.8 billion) of solid assets to support liquidity, the bank achieved a liquidity coverage ratio of 15.7%, surpassing the BoT’s minimum required rate of 8.50%, said Saknarong.

“If the BAAC decides to issue this substantial digital wallet loan while the old debt from the rice-pledging scheme remains unresolved, it would exacerbate the bank’s problems and ultimately impede its ability to support farmers, which is its primary function.”

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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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