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 population that frequently uses mobile payment systems. For the merchant looking to scale internationally, it could also be the hottest new destination, especially since almost 30 percent of ecommerce in Thailand is cross-border (U.S. Dept of Commerce).
Its strategic location has allowed Thailand to link its PromptPay payments system with neighboring Singapore’s PayNow in 2021. This alliance strengthened the exchange system for both countries and improved the Thai Baht’s reputation for cross-border payments.
This exciting market is poised for a predicted compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% until 2023 (JP Morgan). Thai consumers are on the verge of an online shopping boom – now it’s time for merchants to get ready.
Discover More About Thailand’s Top Payment Methods
Digital Transformation Is Driving eCommerce Trends
Thailand’s population is young and active on social-media. They also display one of the most tech-savvy attitudes in the APAC region.
- More than 72% of regional fintech’s are looking to offer smart solutions for money transfer services (Backbase).
- 40% of Thais use social commerce according to research from Rapyd’s Asia Pacific eCommerce and Payments Guide, one of the highest figures in the world
Furthermore, the average online spend is $1,738, higher than in other Southeast Asian countries, and rivaling the likes of Hong Kong and South Korea. Even companies that offer just a couple of the most popular Thailand payment methods could see substantial growth.
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.
Digital Wallets/ eWallets
e-Wallets are fast becoming one of the top payment methods in Thailand, thanks in part to the high smartphone adoption. Both global e-wallets and local e-wallets are popular.
- TrueMoney: At 16.8%, the TrueMoney wallet tops the list of Thailand’s preferred payment methods. 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.
- PromptPay: In 2021, Thai customers used PromptPay for an average of nearly 800 million transactions every single month (Bank of Thailand). While Thailand’s total population sits at just over 70 million, it has been reported that up to 80% of the population claim to have used the payment provider (Pymnts).
- Rabbit-LINE Pay: Messaging app LINE is used by 95% of Thai smartphone users, and now together with contactless transportation card Rabbit, Rabbit-LINE Pay is becoming another popular digital wallet in Thailand (LINE Corp). The service integrates with over 20,000 different telecom providers to ensure that the presence of stakeholders increases in the lives of customers.
The traditional bank transfer remains a popular payment method. When asked about their preferred payment method, 45% of Thai consumers reported using bank transfers.
In fact, bank transfers are an even more popular payment option than card payments. When asked, consumers listed the following as their preferred internet banking providers:
- 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 surveyed consumers state they use a credit card to make online/offline payments, and 13% cite them as their preferred payment method in Thailand. With access to money-back guarantees, credit cards act as insurance and protect customers against fraudulent transactions.
Debit Cards: 46% of surveyed consumers say they’ve used a debit card to make recent payments, but they’re only the preferred payment method for 3.6%. 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 cash usage declines.
Cash for Digital Transactions
Cash payment is the preferred payment method for 13.6% of shoppers in Thailand with 60% saying they’ve used it as a payment method online and offline. However, its use is on the decline as an ecommerce payment method as digital payment methods take over.
Yet cash should not be underestimated. It’s still the most important payment method for a certain demographic of customers, such as older people and those who are less tech-savvy. While other demographic groups are dynamic and adaptable, this group is unlikely to switch over to an alternative payment system. Therefore, integrating cash options into your digital payment service is still key while the Thai market continues to develop.
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.
Asia Pacific eCommerce and Payments Guide
Uncover the Top Payment Methods in APAC. Rapyd conducted research to reveal consumers’ most frequently used and preferred payment methods across the Asia-Pacific region (APAC). Use this research to drive sales, increase cart conversions and reach more customers by accepting the most popular payment methods in APAC.
Bank of Thailand. “Bank of Thailand payment data indicators.” https://www.bot.or.th/English/PaymentSystems/Publication/payment_data_indicators/Documents/
Bank of Thailand. “Use of PromptPay.” https://www.bot.or.th/app/btws_stat/statistics/botwebstat.aspx?reportid=921&language=eng
BackBase. Thailand’s banking sector turns to financial wellness and digital money. https://www.backbase.com/press/16340/thailands-banking-sector-turns-to-financial-wellness-and-digital-money-management-apps-with-the-rise-of-digital-challengers/
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
LINE Corp. LINE Pay Enters Into a Capital Alliance in Thailand with Country’s Number One Telecom Operator AIS https://linecorp.com/en/pr/news/en/2018/2193
Pymnts. Payments Network Rapyd Adds PromptPay Capabilities For Google In Thailand. https://www.pymnts.com/news/payment-methods/2021/payments-network-rapyd-adds-promptpay-capabilities-for-google-in-thailand/
U.S. Department of Commerce. THAILAND ECOMMERCE MARKET GROWTH https://www.trade.gov/market-intelligence/thailand-ecommerce-market-growth
Rapyd. “Rapyd Asia Pacific eCommerce and Payment Guide.” https://www.rapyd.net/resource/asia-pacific-ecommerce-and-payments-guide/.