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14 Sep 2020

Econ Digest

The trend of contactless payment is attracting a new customer base to mobile banking and e-wallets


The COVID-19 pandemic has been an important catalyst in transforming the way Thai consumers conduct funds transfers and pay for goods and services. Such trends have given rise to the “New Normal”, which is geared towards making money transfers and purchases that do not require physical contact, otherwise known as contactless payment. According to surveys conducted by KResearch, Thai consumers have increasingly gravitated towards using mobile banking and e-wallet platforms, even after the spread of COVID-19 in Thailand has subsided. Concurrently, these services have also seen an influx of new users. Consumers aged between 35 and 44 years old feature prominently as a group which has contributed to the increased use of mobile banking and e-wallet services, compared to the previous cluster of users aged between 25 and 34 years old. The surveys also found that the three main features of mobile banking and e-wallet applications that meet current customers’ needs most are: 1. All online accounts can be merged into one application; 2. The platforms respond to everyday lifestyle needs; 3. They feature credit card compatibility. 


KResearch anticipates that funds transfers and payments via mobile banking and e-money will likely experience continuous growth in 2020. However, while these transactions have received a boost from contactless payment, growth is expected to stall due to a consistent drop in transaction value and a decline in consumers’ purchasing power owing to the economic recession. The volume of money transfers and purchases via mobile banking services is projected to be in the range of 7,758.0-7,927.5 million transactions, at a growth of 57.5-61.0% YoY, while their value will be in the range of THB28,910.4-29,707.2 billion, with a growth of 18.4-21.7%YoY. Meanwhile, the volume of transactions via e-money platforms will likely be in the range of 1,990.1 to 2,038.0 million transactions with a growth of 1.2-3,7%YoY, whereas their value is expected to be in the range of THB286.3 to 291.1 billion, at a growth of 1.5-3.2%YoY.  


Going forward, online platform operators via mobile banking and e-wallets still have the potential to expand, but must contend with new players amid a highly competitive market, particularly among e-wallet service providers. Therefore, KResearch is of the view that competition in the market will become more intense, with a focus on pricing strategies and a wide variety of promotions. These tactics will likely play into marketing schemes to attract both consumers and business operators, especially stores and restaurants.  

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