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ACI Drives Real-Time Payments Growth in Thailand

Payment software provider ACI Worldwide is helping to modernise Thailand’s bulk payments processing system and support real-time growth in the country.

Thailand’s National Interbank Transaction Management and Exchange (ITMX) has implemented ACI’s real-time payments technology across all its member banks.

National ITMX, co-owned by Thailand’s largest commercial banks and governed by the Central Bank of Thailand, is responsible for Thailand’s digital payments infrastructure, including card-based, non-card-based and account-to-account payments.

ACI’s real-time payments solution has been implemented across all 33 ITMX member banks, bridging ISO 20022 and the existing ISO 8583 standard. ISO 20022 is seen as a key enabler for the development of future payment services, as well as facilitating cross-border linkages between Southeast Asia’s domestic payment networks.

“Thailand has experienced phenomenal year-on-year real-time payments growth of 145 per cent since 2016, with consumers embracing the first wave of payments modernisation,” said Wanna Noparbhorn, managing director at National ITMX. “The next stage of growth, utilising the PromptPay real-time payments network and ISO 20022 standards, will come from the merchant retail and business-to-business sectors.”

Leslie Choo, senior vice president for Asia at ACI Worldwide
Leslie Choo, senior vice president for Asia at ACI Worldwide

While, Leslie Choo, senior vice president for Asia at ACI Worldwide, said: “ITMX has demonstrated that a rapid shift from paper-based to digital payments is possible through harnessing the possibilities of real time for all ecosystem participants, a model that other countries may look to emulate.

“Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia seek to bounce back quickly from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Real-time bulk payments can assist with government disbursements and emergency support measures, as well as help businesses to efficiently manage salary payments and liquidity. However, for this to be successful, processors and banks need to be backed by scalable and high-performing solutions.”

Payments in Thailand

Real-time, digital payments in Thailand are expected to rise from 13.3 per cent in 2020 to 30.1 per cent by 2025. Paper-based payments currently account for 60.1 per cent of all transactions. Real-time payments’ share of non-paper-based digital transactions is anticipated to rise from three in 10 to more than four in 10 over the next five years.

National ITMX’s bulk payments system processed more than 96 million transactions and 4.3 trillion baht ($143billion) in 2020, representing annual growth of 60 per cent in transaction volume and eight per cent in total value.

Its critical payments infrastructure is utilised for corporate payments, including payroll, dividends, interest, loans, securities, government bonds, tax refunds, goods and services. It is also relied upon by government welfare programmes, such as the senior citizen welfare fund, farmer’s subsidies and the Covid-19 relief fund.

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