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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Thai Tourists Go Cashless in Laos with New QR Payments

This Week

Thai tourists visiting Laos can now conveniently scan QR codes to pay for goods and services, thanks to a new cross-border payment system recently launched between the two countries.

The service, announced on 5 July, is available specifically to users of the Thai Bank of Ayudhya, also known as Krungsri, making it the first Thai commercial bank to offer this convenience through its KMA Krungsri app.

In Laos, this payment service is accessible through 17 participating banks, including Banque Pour Le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL), Agricultural Promotion Bank (APB), Joint Development Bank (JDB), Lao Development Bank (LDB), Lao Viet Bank (LVB), ST Bank (STB), and Allied Bank (ABL), among others, as stated by the Lao National Payment Network.

While, currently, only one Thai bank with cross-border QR payment is available in Laos, the Bank of Thailand has announced plans to add three more banks, including Kasikorn Bank (KBank), Bangkok Bank (BBL), and Krungthai Bank (KTB), in the fourth quarter of this year.

The service is part of an agreement signed earlier this year between the two nations, aimed at enhancing accessibility and innovation in financial services. In early April, the agreement allowed Lao tourists visiting Thailand and workers to make QR payments in Thailand through participating banks.

The Bank of Thailand has noted positive feedback for this QR code payment service, with transactions by Lao nationals totaling more than THB 47 million (over USD 1.2 million) in April alone.

The QR code cross-border payment system is part of Laos’ strategy to enhance regional money transfers and payments with neighboring nations such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Laos has also established a similar payment network with Cambodia, launched in August 2023. Looking ahead, the country plans to introduce another comparable service with Vietnam in August to boost tourism and enhance economic exchanges between the two countries.

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