The Bank of Thailand has just announced that it plans to test its retail digital currency for the public in the second quarter of 2022 as an alternative payment option. The pilot project will evaluate the use of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) in cash-like activities within a limited scale.
The central bank will assess results and risks from the test to ensure that the CBDC does not undermine economic and financial stability. The Bank expects demand for the CBDC to gradually increase, eventually becoming a payment option alternative to cash and e-money.
Thailand offers a promising market for digital banking evolution. Financial engagement is relatively high, and financial services institutions enjoy penetration rates above those of the country´s regional peers, with more than 80% of Thais having some form of banking account. A recent study by The Asian Banker and data analytics company Fico showed 78% of respondents expressed positive sentiment toward digital banking.
Despite the potential, Thailand is one of the few nations in the region that is yet to release a comprehensive digital banking licensing roadmap. However, Thailand’s use of a national digital ID does offer an edge over many neighboring countries when it comes to the eventual rollout of digital banking.
(Source: The Bangkok Post)