Thailand is on the verge of an ecommerce boom – are you ready to capitalize on it?
Thailand is a lucrative and exciting market, with a tech-savvy and mobile-first population. Despite ecommerce sales only making up 2% of total retail sales (JP Morgan), the country is poised for ecommerce growth. Both local businesses and global companies looking to expand need to be aware of the most popular payment methods in Thailand.
2021 is the year that Thailand is due to link its PromptPay payments system with Singapore’s PayNow (Fintech Futures), strengthening each system and improving cross-border payments. With the B2C ecommerce market in Thailand predicted to move at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% to 2023, now is the time to capitalize on this exciting market.
Digital Transformation Driving eCommerce Trends
The Thai population is young and social-media focused and displays one of the most tech-savvy attitudes in the APAC region.
- Over 70% of consumers classify themselves as either tech-savvy or looking for smart solutions. (Rapyd)
- The average online spend is $1,738, higher than in other south-east Asian countries. (JP Morgan)
- The percentage of social commerce users is 40%, the highest in the world. (Rapyd)
The Top Payment Methods in Thailand
The population has relatively high bank account adoption and good access to cards but ewallets and bank transfers rise to the top in our consumer survey of the most popular online payment methods in Thailand, highlighting the importance of accepting a variety of different payment types from Thai customers.
eWallets are fast becoming one of the top payment methods in Thailand, thanks in part to the high smartphone adoption. Both global ewallets and local ewallets are popular.
- TrueMoney: At 16.8%, TrueMoney tops the list of Thailand’s preferred payment methods. (Rapyd) With acceptance fees only 1% of the transaction value, compared to around 1.5-2.8% for debit and credit card transactions, it’s cheaper for merchants to accept than cards. (JP Morgan)
- PromptPay: According to the Bank of Thailand’s figures, there are 55.2 million registered PromptPay users as of July 2020. With Thailand’s total population just over 69 million, that’s an impressive figure. (Bank of Thailand) Despite that, only 5.8% say it’s their preferred payment method. (Rapyd)
With a growing banked population, bank transfers are also popular. Bank transfers are about as popular as card payments, and when asked, consumers listed the following as their preferred banks: (Rapyd)
- Kasikorn Bank 14.8%
- Siam Commercial Bank 12%
- Krungthai Bank 7.6%
- Bangkok Bank 4%
- Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri) 1.2%
- Credit cards: 55% of consumers state they use a credit card to make online/offline payments, and 13% cite them as their preferred payment method. (Rapyd)
- Debit cards: 46% say they’ve used a debit card to make recent payments, but they’re only the preferred payment method for 3.6%. (Rapyd) With new digital regulations being implemented by the Thai government, including mandated debit card uptake, these figures are likely to increase in the future as the use of cash declines. (JP Morgan)
Cash for Digital Transactions
Cash-on-delivery is the preferred payment method of 13.6%, with 60% saying they’ve used it as a payment method online and offline. (Rapyd) However, as an ecommerce payment method, it’s on the decline as digital payment methods take over.
Keeping Up With Thailand’s Rapidly Moving eCommerce Market
More people will buy from you if you provide them with an easy checkout experience and accept the local payment methods that are popular with consumers. The ever-changing digital landscape and the fast rate at which payment method preferences are evolving in Thailand means that a generic, cards-only approach doesn’t work.
To grow business in Thailand, merchants need to support all of the payment methods preferred for B2C and B2B transactions. Providing the best payment experience means you’ll turn more shoppers into customers, and keep those customers coming back to buy from you.
Bank of Thailand. “Bank of Thailand payment data indicators.” https://www.bot.or.th/English/PaymentSystems/Publication/payment_data_indicators/Documents/Payment%20Data%20Indicators_BOT%20Website_Jul2020_ENG.pdf.
Fintech Futures. “Singapore and Thailand to link national payment systems in 2021.” https://www.fintechfutures.com/2020/12/singapore-and-thailand-to-link-national-payment-systems-in-2021/.
JP Morgan. “Thailand’s consumers rapidly evolve to become mobile commerce forerunners.” https://www.jpmorgan.com/merchant-services/insights/reports/thailand-2020.
Rapyd. “Rapyd Asia Pacific eCommerce and Payment Guide.” https://www.rapyd.net/resource/asia-pacific-ecommerce-and-payments-guide/.