Paypal planning expansion in Thailand


United States-based global e-payment company Paypal has opened a representative office in Thailand, the company said last week, with the intention of expanding its market share among Thai businesses and providing better customer service, adding an international dimension to Thailand’s goal of expanding e-payments and moving towards a cashless society.

The company named Somwang Luangphaibooonsri as its first country head. Somwang said his mission is to expand PayPal so it reaches more e-merchants in the Kingdom, encompassing different business sizes and industries.PayPal was established in 1998 in the United States, and Thailand is one of three countries in Southeast Asia where the company has opened a representative office, although PayPal also has a footprint in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Viet Nam.

“PayPal’s payment transactions in Thailand in the last couple of years were very active. The transactions on PayPal’s platform increased to double digits, which is the reason why we have to be here to be closer to take care of customers,” said Somwang. He added that the companyhas 200 million accounts, most of which belong to consumers who are potential buyers for Thai merchants.

“We are one option payment for, an e-commerce platform operated by Department of International Trade Promotion,” said Somwang.

The country head said that the e-payment market is young in Thailand and has enormous room for growth, and so he does not view other e-payment platforms as competitors. More e-payment players and options would be better for consumers, he added.

“A lot of global players coming into Thailand is good. Together we can help educate the market and drive the growth of e-payment usage in Thailand,” said Somwang. Several sectors hold high potential for PayPal, he added, including the tourism sector. One of the main obstacles to more up-take for the service is that merchants are unfamiliar with it. The company, therefore, will send teams to educate tourism-related merchants on the benefits of going digital for cross-border business.

“Having local teams in Thailand will help PayPal’s performance get better. On the other hand, PayPal branding is helping us to easily approach merchants,’’ he said.

The government recently launched its own e-payment system called PromptPay for Thai citizens, and local banks have been reporting a sharp increase in e-payment transactions since the system was unveiled earlier this year. PromptPay represents the first in a series of initiatives by the government and the financial sector to transition towards a digital economy and cashless society.

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