Thailand Rejects Digital Payments in Favour of Cash

Jun 17, 2022


While Thailand saw widespread use of digital payment apps during the pandemic, a recent survey by the Bank of Thailand found the majority of people are returning to cash thanks to its convenience, wide acceptance, privacy and lack of added fees.

Surveying just over 6,000 people on their payment habits, the Bank discovered 65 percent of those who adopted Krung Thai Bank’s digital wallet—the Pao Tang app—have now stopped using it. At least 50 percent of those surveyed said they intended to use cash exclusively, while nearly all respondents felt cash is a necessity for daily life.

The Thai Examiner says the results came as a surprise given the survey was conducted to study the impact of government efforts to drive people towards a cashless society, which included direct support of programmes designed to encourage the use of banking and payment apps, with the Pao Tang app being particularly promoted.

The survey concluded Thai people prefer cash for purchases at food stalls, local markets and grocery stores, with support for these hard-hit, fundamental elements of the economy increasing as the pandemic’s impact wanes. It noted that most participants found cash more convenient than digital payments and deemed it essential to have on hand at all times.

Cash, according to the study, was seen as more private, more widely accepted, more convenient and offering better value.
"Carla Boonkong and Pranee O’Connor, Thai Examiner
Last Updated: Jun 16, 2022