Thai payments ditch bank account numbers

Four state-run banks and 15 commercial banks to participate.

Thailand’s new e-payment service will allow payees to link their national ID or mobile numbers to their bank accounts, reducing the need to recall lengthy account numbers. The project, called PromptPay - a joint collaboration between the Bank of Thailand and the Thai Bankers’ Association - is part of the government’s effort to promote a cashless society. It will launch to the public by the end of October. Four state-run banks and 15 Thai commercial banks will open registration to the public from July 15 and onwards. Users will need to provide their bank account details, ID and mobile phone numbers during registration, where each mobile number can only be tied to one account; an account can link up to a maximum of three phone numbers. The e-payment system will help save a costs of THB 70 billion (US$2 billion) a year, reducing the need to print and deliver banknotes and cheques, the Bangkok Post reports. PromptPay will initially be open to individuals, but its services will expand and cater to companies, said Tongurai Limpiti, Bank of Thailand's deputy governor. The project’s next phase will aim to target e-payment for public utility services, said Predee Daochai, Thai Bankers’ Association Chairman. The four state-run banks are the Government Savings Bank, Government Housing Bank, Islamic Bank of Thailand and Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Co-operatives. Image by Dennis Wong, licensed under CC BY 2.0