Thailand surpasses region in embrace of digital finance

Thai consumers are more enthusiastic about using digital tools to manage their finances than their counterparts in six other Asian countries, according to a recent MasterCard survey that portended well for the Kingdom’s transition to a digital economy.

MasterCard’s New Payments Index 2022 found that 81 percent of Thai consumers have used digital tools for at least one financial transaction last year. Paying bills, personal banking and opening new bank accounts were the top three financial tasks Thais performed online.

“This change is a positive sign for the continued digitization of the economy, and will help to spur long-term, sustainable growth in Thailand,” said Aileen Chew, Thailand Country Manager for MasterCard.

MasterCard’s index evaluated 40 countries around the world including seven in Asia and the Pacific: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.

Thailand’s policymakers are pursuing a cashless society and advanced digital industries. In doing so, they have carefully eased regulations to allow established financial institutions and entrepreneurial startups to test and introduce a range of digital programs and options.

Over a quarter century, Thailand has evolved into a financial center where banks are funding new technologies, startups and innovations, both in Thailand and abroad.

The government has also launched an e-payment system and is promoting its wider adoption. The result of all these trends has been a greater willingness among consumers to try new tools. Both financial and digital literacy are on the rise among the public.

“In recent years, Thai consumers have increased their usage of digital payment options, often showing high engagement with new and emerging technologies,” added Aileen.

“The survey results indicate that this comfort extends beyond payments, and now includes daily personal financial management, demonstrating the pervasiveness of digital technology in their everyday lives,” she said.

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