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orientalist

Can we really go cashless in Thailand?

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I almost never use cash but was in an supposedly "ex-pat-orientated" (no names here but I think you will know where I mean) supermarket in Kad Falang Hang Dong, given a card machine and paid with my (BBL) card, entered PIN and hit enter. Slightly under-educated cash person mutters something and then produced another machine and said "PIN". I was understandably surmised by this (not a big bill, 552 baht) and asked why. Blank stare. Call to colleague who could speak more than three words of English - no answer. Called to manager - "oh PIN is blocked on that machine [which is absolute rubbish], have to enter again on another" - obviously they are not creaming it off but most cashiers have no understanding of the technology they are using - five minutes training max. I had 551 baht and 25 satang in cash - gave them that. Checked BBL after - no transaction occurred. Obviously the cashier used a duff machine first time, had no idea what was wrong and grabbed another. Customer service at its best 🙂 

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24 minutes ago, snairb said:

what an excellent idea " to scratch off the 3 digits " not just thailand the world

but what if i forget ?

 

I keep my passwords etc in the aWallet app for Android. In theory you could just forget about physical cards and have them all linked to your wallet, using cardless ATM withdrawals when you need cash.

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6 hours ago, ThaiBunny said:

The real problem is the lack of the Thais adopting common digital wallets like Google Pay or Apple Pay, and therefore encouraging a fragmented, proprietary digital wallet universe, as the OP outlined

 

Apparently, this is because True (Truemove) has a customer base of tens of millions in Thailand and Line has 43 million customers to sell their wallet system to, so they have become the leaders. Also, they are local. Samsung Pay does not seem to have got its foot in the door and neither have Google or Apple.

 

One thing about Line Pay is that the UI is terrible because it was just bolted on to a messaging app. Really clunky.

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On 1/28/2020 at 6:51 PM, sanmyintmaung said:

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

Not sure if you're aware of this but True Money Wallet now has an English language option. I imagine it was a pain to use before that.

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On 1/28/2020 at 6:58 PM, Matzzon said:

Of course it´s possible.

Really? Then I guess you never go outside? When living a normal life in Thailand buying food/stuff in markets or on the street or in stores selling everything you can to think about, even cut your hair, then cashless is totally impossible. 

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On 1/28/2020 at 6:58 PM, Matzzon said:

Of course it´s possible.

Of coure not! Why you spread wrong Informations!? Do you ever been in Isaan, high North, or way out of Kanchanaburi?

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3 hours ago, orientalist said:

Regarding "fees" for cashless transactions, so far the various mobile apps charge zero for paying bills. Presumably they charge a small fee from the vendor, but we're talking micro-payments. Meanwhile the average Thai pays 10 baht each time he settles a utility bill at 7-11.

 

Only about 18 months ago we had to pay for an interbank money transfer. That ended with Promptpay. I just cancelled several ATM/debit cards because I don't need one per bank anymore - just transfer the money to the bank I prefer and use that debit card or a cardless withdrawal. So I don't think cashless is more expensive for the consumer.

 

A couple of years ago on New Year's morning I was stuck up a mountain (Phu Tab Berg) in Phechabun with only a thousand baht note and a desperate need for a cup of coffee. No problem, said the owner of the coffee shack, "just send the money to me with Promptpay." Very convenient.

 

At the end of the day, cashless won't work unless it is convenient for most of us and no more expensive than cash. Thais don't really care about privacy or BB so I doubt that will be an issue for them.

 

$1000 transaction processed through paypal or credit card, vendor is paying about $30.

 

Cash, vendor gets $1000. 

CC vendor gets $970 (and everyone's prices go up and banks get rich and you lose anonymity). 

 

Micro payments can mean different things to different people I suppose. 

Edited by sucit
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5 hours ago, ujayujay said:

Of coure not! Why you spread wrong Informations!? Do you ever been in Isaan, high North, or way out of Kanchanaburi?

I live in rural Isaan. So, yes! I would be hard to do, and take time, but it is not impossible.

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5 hours ago, Max69xl said:

Really? Then I guess you never go outside? When living a normal life in Thailand buying food/stuff in markets or on the street or in stores selling everything you can to think about, even cut your hair, then cashless is totally impossible. 

Read above! Yes, I go out.

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12 hours ago, nglodnig said:

colleague who could speak more than three words of English

Why you did not explain the right process in Thai? 

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17 hours ago, sucit said:

These are not first world problems. It is a real first world issue. 

 

You know who wants cashless societies? Governments. It is a powerful governmental tool, akin to things like drug laws. You are giving the government more power over you. Not to mention big business lobes it as well, they get a piece of the pie for every single transaction in a cashless society. 

 

The more people who voluntarily go cashless, the easier it is for them to implement these policies, the richer the banks get, the more leverage govt gets, and the less liberties individuals have.  

 

I understand people just want to go cashless because they feel it is more convenient for them. I just feel like a thread like this sorta proves the opposite. It is difficult to go cashless (in many instances), so why go out of your way to attain a system that will garner more power for governments? 

Good points - I really do respect posters point of view who think (Know) their behavior is being tracked through their financial transactions,

but isn’t it a bit tin foil hat to worry about government and big business tracking our spending or whatever when most of the population carry around a smart phone that’s reporting on their every movement, and use google and Facebook with all the accompanying data mining.
 

I find it’s a balance of what you are prepared to concede in terms of privacy against convenience. 
 

There is also an element of increased security, I’m on holiday at the moment, my father is horrified when my I hand over my card and it disappears into a back room of a hotel.

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Much as I personally find it convenient to link my credit cards to a wallet, this won't be the usual case in Thailand where so few have a CC. And I don't really see the point of linking a debit card. Most Thais will either link a wallet directly to their bank account or just keep pre-loading it through the various channels offered. The wallet system will then charge a micro-commission from the merchant for each transaction, as I think Google Pay does. So I don't see consumer prices going up as a result of this.

 

Online merchants can already reject a payment if it is linked to a CC. Perhaps the POS machines in shops will be able to as well in the future. That would be an option for those places who currently allow you to use a CC only with an extra 3% charge or not at all.

 

Security-wise it seems to me that that biggest risk is from using cards. Your details can be skimmed at ATMs and also by thieving staff in stores. QR codes seem a good way to go. Can a billion Chinese be wrong? 🙂

 

 

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On 1/28/2020 at 6:40 PM, bwpage3 said:

Impossible to do in places like rural Isaan where all of the local transactions are in cash.

No its not.

I was in China back in June and they are virtually cashless even out in the sticks. Everyone that takes money shows you a QR code and they just use their mobile phone, even the old ladies in the markets. I got some strange looks paying with actual cash.

Makes it very difficult for tourists as many services are automatic and unattended so cannot be used.

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