Thailand: PromptPay transfers grow sixfold in Q2
Waiving fees for digital transactions since late March has not only substantially boosted banks’ online transactions but also individual money transfers via the PromptPay platform, which surged sixfold in the second quarter.
Individual PromptPay transactions hit 88.3 million transactions in June, representing 2.9 million transactions a day, with a combined value of 442 billion baht, according to the Bank of Thailand’s Puey Ungphakorn Institution for Economic Research.
Consumer-to-consumer fund transfers through PromptPay accounted for 31% of the total banking transactions made by retail, said Aniya Shimnoi, an economist at the Bank of Thailand. The continued uptick in usage reflects more repeat users, said Ms Aniya.
PromptPay’s daily transactions in the first month after the service started in January last year averaged a mere 57,000.
Interbank fund transfers from April to June surged 239%, with most transactions made through smartphones.
“The increase [in PromptPay’s transactions] has been attributed to the transaction fee waiver,” she said.
Banks’ shift of transactions to PromptPay from online retail funds transfer is another factor influencing growth, said Ms Aniya.
PromptPay’s cumulative transactions have continued to increase to 631 million, with total value of 3.1 trillion baht as of July 13. The ticket size of fund transfers declined to 4,600 baht per transaction on average from 7,000 baht in June last year.
Fund transfers of under 5,000 baht per transaction represented 82% of the total via PromptPay.
Ms Aniya said as digital transactions grew, fund transfers at brick-and-mortar branches in the three months through June fell by 29% from a year earlier and those via ATMs dipped 22%.
PromptPay’s transactions through smartphones dominated 81% of the total transactions in June, followed by through the internet.
Atawet Arpasrikul, another economist, said bulk payments via PromptPay have continued to increase, albeit at a slower pace than the single payment category.
The number of individual taxpayers who claimed income tax refunds accounted for 70% of total taxpayers who asked for refunds in 2017, up from 62% the previous year.
Other services on PromptPay have also contributed to the surge in digital transactions, he said.
As of August, PromptPay registration numbered 44.5 million, of which 28.7 million wired accounts with citizen ID cards and 15.8 million with mobile phone numbers. Consumer-to-consumer fund transfers via PromptPay represented 31% of total single payments in terms of transaction numbers.
The central bank’s survey in September last year found that 45% of respondents were aware of the PromptPay service and most of them live in large provinces such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Songkhla.
The majority of PromptPay users are aged 21-37.