Thailand’s National ITMX-PromptPay could have the most real-time cross-border payment linkages in the world
Today, National ITMX and PromptPay have established cross-border real-time QR payments with six countries—Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam—which it believes is the highest number of cross-border direct real-time payment linkages in the world
The Thai banking industry, under the auspices the Thai Bankers’ Association (TBA), is working on a number of key initiatives to reposition itself to support the country’s burgeoning digital economy, especially in the areas of real-time cross-border payments and trade automation and digitalisation.
Together with the Ministry of Finance and Bank of Thailand (BoT), TBA launched PromptPay, the domestic real-time peer-to-peer payment system under National ITMX (Interbank Transfer Management and Exchange), a company owned by commercial banks and established under the auspices and policies of BoT’s Payment System Committee.
It was chosen by Asian Payment Network (APN) to be a hub for connecting payment and transfer systems across 11 APN member countries comprising Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
Today, National ITMX and PromptPay have established cross-border real-time QR payments with six of these countries—Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam—which it believes is the highest number of cross-border direct real-time payment linkages in the world.
TBA secretary general, Kobsak Duangdee, shared that Thailand was ranked third globally for real-time payment transaction volume in 2021, behind India and China, based on an ACI Worldwide study.
Also noteworthy, is the penetration of the Pao Tang digital wallet, that was launched amid COVID by state-owned Krungthai Bank to support the government’s financial support for the low income and underbanked population, including small merchants and business owners. It has reached over 40 million users, believed to be as high as 97% of the targeted segments.
National ITMX was also commissioned by the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) to develop the National Digital Trade Platform (NDTP), a paperless system for exporters and importers to send and receive electronic documents for cross-border and international trade.
Phases 1 and 2 of the 3-phase project have been completed and Phase 3 is currently in progress.
Phase 1: Studies on readiness, benefits and next-step recommendations were completed in early 2021.
Phase 2: Proof of concept and live pilot between Thailand and Japan, and Thailand and Singapore were completed in October 2022.
Phase 3: Multiple initiatives including 1) A further study by a consultant; 2) Expand the network in ASEAN; 3) Establish a joint working group; 4) Build on the success on the first step of Thailand-Japan and Thailand- Singapore and; 5) Cooperate with joint border committee (JBC) on trade facilitation and ease of doing business.
Keywords: Cross-Border Payments, Trade Digitalisation, Cybersecurity, AI, Digital Payments, Financial Technology
Institution: Thai Bankers’ Association, The Joint Standing Committee On Commerce, Industry And Banking, National Digital Trade Platform
Region: Southeast Asia
People: Kobsak Duangdee, Darutsakorn Wisootthisin, Chonraya Koomalayavisaion