23 May 2024

After months of delay, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin announced the official launch of the “digital wallet” scheme today, saying that the estimated 50 million Thai citizens aged 16 and older will be able to register in the third quarter of this year and the 10,000 baht will be wired to their accounts in the fourth.

Billed as the flagship policy of this government, the prime minister said that they have fulfilled their election promise to the Thai people to deliver a policy which will improve their livelihoods and stimulate growth in the sluggish economy of as much as 1.6%.

He offered an assurance that the scheme will maintain financial discipline, is in compliance with the Constitution and relevant laws and regulations and will be operated transparently, cautiously and honestly to ensure the greatest benefit to the nation.

Meanwhile, Finance Permanent Secretary Lawaron Saengsanit, disclosed the eligibility criteria for the scheme. Registrants must be 16 years old or over, with assessable income of not more than 840,000 baht per annum, or combined cash deposits in bank accounts of not more than 500,000 baht.

The money can only be used in stores in their respective districts which are registered with the Commerce Ministry. Stores which participate in the scheme cannot withdraw cash immediately after a customer completes a purchase and will have to wait until the next settlement round.

Lawaron said that the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Office of Digital Development will develop a “super app” to be used for transaction using the digital money.