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orientalist

Can we really go cashless in Thailand?

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I've always preferred cashless. Before meeting the gf a few years ago I used my credit cards for almost everything except BTS and food courts, so I could see my expenses on a couple of monthly statements.

 

But after we hooked up and later began looking after a granddaughter there were a lot more cash expenses and in addition I needed some accounting of my payments FOR her and other expenses WITH her. That prompted me to investigate electronic wallets. The gf and her family seem to live out of 7-11s and since we currently live apart there are a lot of BTS expenses. So that meant looking into True Wallet for 7-11 and Rabbit Line Pay. To me it ain't "cashless" if I have to faff around loading the wallet with actual cash at a kiosk somewhere (although the bankless Thai masses will find this an advantage), so I was happy to see that both wallets allow linking to credit and debit cards.

 

A word about security: In 35 years I've only had two problems with card fraud and both were obviously a vendor skimming my credit card details. I now scratch off the CVV and also don't use debit cards in shops. Online I use Paypal when I can and only one CC.

 

Both of the above wallets are way easier to use if your phone has a fingerprint sensor.

 

True Wallet: Pretty easy to set up. You send a photo of your ID and a selfie holding it to get verified. I received an approval SMS a day later. I can link my credit cards to it and swap between them. I do this to separate my expenses from the gf's. You can also load it with cash by bank transfer. The big advantage of True is it can be used at 7-11, so no more 50 satang and 25 satang coins in your pocket. The disadvantage is that for bill payment, as opposed to shop purchases, it will only take money from your preloaded funds and not a linked card. As a test I purchased something cheap on Thai Lazada with True Wallet but it insisted on taking wallet funds. Also you cannot import a QR code photo, you have to scan.

 

Rabbit Line Pay: This one also allows linking of cards as well as preloaded funds. The obvious advantage is payment on the BTS. With the Line Pay card (registration requires a copy of ID and photo - which they take). If you have the Line Pay card you can pay for monthly passes via credit card but not for BTS card top-ups. With just your phone, you can buy skytrain tickets at the many QR-ready ticket machines with the cost taken from a credit card (the price is still 1 baht higher than using a refillable card). As with True Wallet, you can't pay utility bills via credit card and can't import QR codes. Line seems to have a better penetration of stores than True - including food courts at Big C and Tops - but often you must use your card rather than scanning with phone, and smaller shops like Lawson often tell me their machine is broken.

 

Banking apps:

I like the K-bank mobile app for some things but I don't like the idea that the "wallet" is my entire bank account. I use it for the various utility bills. You can import a photo of a QR code that someone sends you. You can also get money from some ATMs with just your phone. I use this app to do occasional top-ups of my wallets.

 

All in all, I am mostly cashless now and can monitor my expenses, but that's around Bangkok. I'm not sure about upcountry. Security-wise, mobile apps seem more secure than Windows-based online banking. A mobile wallet seems more secure than using a card in shops and using your phone at ATMs is safer than using a card.

 

Anyone have any good experiences of going cashless in Thailand - or bad ones - to share?

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I was able to make true money wallet charge my linked credit instead of using preloaded balance for my true bill payment.

I need to select the circled radio button. It actually said credit/debit card in Thai.

 

I was able to use True Money Wallet at many 7-11 in rural locations.

 

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Edited by sanmyintmaung

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11 minutes ago, sanmyintmaung said:

I was able to use True Money Wallet at many 7-11 in rural locations.

 

Apparently, 7-11's system runs on the True infrastructure, so True should work anywhere 7-11's own wallet can.

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everybody from motorcycle taxi to hairdressers and even market stalls seems to accept the QR code/Prompt Pay phone no/ID no transfer.... but that remains to be seen when the tax man start going after these mom and pop shops that don't do accounting or previously was under the radar of the tax man, but now that banks has threshold of number of transfer in per year/amount for reporting. 

 

If you're afraid to pay out of your bank account directly, just open a separate account that you use to transfer out of and only transfer in what you plan to use like a wallet.

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Yes, everywhere I go now, places have a prompt pay QR code. I hope the trend continues. 
 

Am I correct in saying, we can’t get a prompt pay QR code? I don’t know why we would, maybe my missus wants to pay me some money back or whatever.

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Try using any (most?)Post offices for sending a parcel or letter without cash !

 

Always wondered how much of the huge cash taken every day by these offices actually gets to where it needs to go 🤔

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