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Card networks bring standardised QR codes to Thailand

11 May 2017  |  7568 views  |  3 mvisa

Mastercard, UnionPay International and Visa have introduced a standardised QR code for payments by mobile phone at merchant locations across Thailand.

Intended to be implemented by banks and merchants across Thailand by the third quarter of 2017, the new standard will mean that consumers will no longer need to scan different QR codes to make payments with Mastercard, UnionPay and Visa. Merchants will only need to display one QR code at the storefront or through the acquiring bank’s mobile application.

The introduction of the interoperable code supports the Bank of Thailand’s cashless agenda as part of a National e-Payment Roadmap introduced by the Ministry of Finance.

The standards are intended to be globally interoperable, providing a seamless experience for cardholder when travelling abroad.

Wenhui Yang, general manager for UnionPay International Southeast Asia, says: “UnionPay now chairs an international workgroup with other payment networks to develop a global QR Code Standard for payments. We believe the Standardised QR Code has the potential to support and strengthen the Thai economy and help Thailand become a truly cashless society.”

Comments: (3)

Alexander Peschkoff
Alexander Peschkoff - TEDIPAY - London | 11 May, 2017, 09:41

It's always interesting to see solutions like QRs to skyrocket across Asia, whilst Europe is littered with the remains of QR players. One more example of "how" (and "why") being much more important than "what".

My prediction is that we've seen "peak QR" and soon a new interface will start making waves. (Again, it's all about "why"...)

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 11 May, 2017, 12:35

Oh what a tri-party tango! Doesn't matter around QR or otherwise. This "union" of titans may be the kickstart for world domination on mobile payment for another 50 years! So much for small players that are still trying to gain grounds...

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 11 May, 2017, 17:19

The similar BharatQR was launched with much fanfare a couple of months ago in India. Intended to be a lower-cost card acceptance mechanism for merchants that are (purportedly) too small to afford POS terminals, the biggest adopter of BharatQR so far has been merchants that *do* have POS terminals!

Somewhere along the line, people seem to have missed that POS terminals are not that expensive and forgotten that merchants need a merchant agreement with the acquirer bank to be able to accept card payments, whether by POS or QR. When it comes to MAs, banks continue to be wary of issuing them to smaller merchants.

Ergo, the only merchants I've seen with BharatQR are the ones who already have MA and POS! The ice cream parlor in my neighborhood is one such merchant. I asked him why he has BharatQR when he already has a POS. He told me he thought BharatQR was a different payment method and that he didn't want to lose business in case customers wanted to use it! He also told me that I was the first customer to inquire about BharatQR in the one month following his onboarding of it.  

Let's see how it goes in Thailand.

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