Thailand tops the world in percentage of mobile bank users

Thailand has the highest percentage of people who use mobile banking applications, a harbinger of tech readiness and financial inclusion, according to a study of 46 countries released last week by digital research and marketing firms.

A full 65 percent of Thais who use the internet are using applications for mobile banking and financial services every month, according to the Digital 2020 Report from We Are Social and jointly published by Hootsuite. The Thai percentage is nearly double the world average of 35 percent.

Thailand was also well ahead of Sweden and South Korea, which both tied for second at 56 percent, New Zealand at 55 percent, and South Africa at 54 percent.

Creating a digital and cashless economy are key goals of the Thai government, as is raising financial inclusiveness, bringing lower-income people, or those living in remote areas into the financial system. The government sees these goals as necessary to increase and sustain Thailand’s competitiveness and to also to create more equity in society.

The country ranked second in the world in e-commerce adoption, according to the report, trailing only Indonesia. Eighty-eight percent of Indonesians purchased goods or services online each month, compared to 83 percent of Thais. Poland, Germany, and Malaysia tied Thailand in this category.

Thailand also came in just behind Indonesia in mobile e-commerce adoption. Sixty-nine percent of Thais made online purchases through their mobile devices each month, while the world average is 52 percent.

Thailand finished second globally for the average amount of time spent using the internet on mobile phones at 4.57 hours each day, with the Philippines, the leader at 5.11 hours.

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