Bangkok Bank has become the first bank to successfully provide cross-border QR payments between Thailand and Vietnam after cooperation between the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV). The strength of the service lies in its safe and convenient transactions as well as its lower exchange rate fees. In addition, QR payments support a large number of retailers and has high customer awareness. As of now the Bank is waiting for Thailand to open up to tourists in order to roll out the service with an emphasis on creating a good experience for customers.
Bangkok Bank Executive Director Charamporn Jotikasthira revealed that Bangkok Bank is the first bank and the settlement bank to provide a cross-border QR payment service between Thailand and Vietnam. Under the cooperation between the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the service features a financial innovation that uses a QR code to pay for products and services. This service provides great convenience while creating a positive experience and helps reduce international financial costs. At the same time, the service helps develop the payment ecosystem and supports the financial infrastructure between regions so that they will be more financially integrated.
With this cross-border QR payment service customers can use the Bangkok Bank Mobile Banking application to scan and pay for goods in Vietnam*, while customers of Vietnam banks that participate in the service can pay for products and services in Thailand with their respective bank apps. This service is safe and convenient, allowing customers to pay in their home currency with lower exchange rate fees than they would get by paying by credit or debit card.
QR payments have been widely used and are an important tool in receiving payments for merchants as it can significantly help increase sales for the store. For example, merchants will not miss out on sales opportunities if customers do not carry enough cash to make purchases. Customers or consumers have also become highly familiar with the process and prefer to pay using a QR code. Therefore, many stores support this type of payment. In the first phase, merchants in Vietnam that accept Bangkok Bank Mobile Banking’s QR payment will be those in tourist destinations or economic centers such as Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Mui Ne, as well as leading local coffee shops in Vietnam.
Mr. Charamporn said that in addition to being convenient and having lower exchange rate fees due to the higher number of merchants that support the QR payment system, consumer behavior has changed dramatically, and they are now more familiar with digital payment systems due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Consequently, the volume of e-payment transactions in 2020, including QR code payments, reached 13.39 million**, up by 49.14% from the previous year. Therefore, we believe that when economic activities resume and cross-border travel and tourism gradually recover, the cross-border QR payment service will definitely play an important role in supporting economic activities during the recovery period.
“In the initial stage, cross-border QR payments will meet the needs of specific groups such as Vietnamese who are working in Thailand or Thais who are working in Vietnam, including online shopping between countries, etc. We believe that in the future when the Covid-19 situation eases, overseas travel will resume and regional travel will start first, particularly in countries that have efficient systems to manage and control the spread of Covid-19, such as Thailand and Vietnam. Therefore, we are confident that the cross-border QR payment service via Bangkok Bank Mobile Banking will expand quickly and be available for wider use in the future.”
Mr. Charamporn added that the effort to develop cross-border QR payments via Bangkok Bank Mobile Banking reflects the awareness of all related parties of the need to accelerate the development of technology to enhance service efficiency and connect international financial ecosystems throughout the region under the same standards with the support of Thailand’s financial institutions’ regulator, the BOT. At the same time, this cooperation also reflects our commitment as a trusted partner who is ready to stand by our customers and deliver a good experience to customers at every touchpoint, which is one of the Bank’s key growth strategies and in line with our vision of being a regional bank.
*Vietnam banks joining cross-border QR Payment in the initial stage are Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) and Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV)
**Source: The Bank of Thailand www.bot.or.th/App/BTWS_STAT/statistics/ReportPage.aspx?reportID=681&language=th
About Bangkok Bank
Bangkok Bank, established in 1944, is Thailand’s largest bank and the 6th largest Southeast Asian bank by total assets (3,822,959.68 million baht as of 31/12/2020). It has more than 17 million customer accounts and 1,000 branches in Thailand. It is Thailand’s leading international bank with more than 300 branches in 14 economies – Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. Its major international subsidiaries are Bangkok Bank Berhad, with five branches across Malaysia, Bangkok Bank (China) with six branches providing coverage across the major regions in China, and PermataBank, one of Indonesia’s 10 largest banks with more than 300 branches in 62 cities in Indonesia.