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CARDS & PAYMENTS | Cesar Tordesillas, Thailand

Thailand's BAY offers alternative to card readers

Bank of Ayudhya has launched a mobile credit-card-payment service for small merchants that does away from using expensive card readers.

The service called Krungsri Quick Pay requires customers of these merchants to pay in cash.

Thakorn Piyapan, managing director of Krungsri Consumer (Ayudhya Capital Services), the plastic-card unit, said yesterday that the bank would target individual vendors in the Chatuchak Weekend Market or in wholesale outlets because very small businesses don't want to buy or lease an electronic data-capture terminal from financial houses.

The new card-acceptance device will persuade the vendors to use the e-payment service instead of only cash because the dongle is priced around Bt3,000, much lower than Bt10,000 for an EDC device.

BAY's mobile payment system comprises a dongle (computer plug-in device) with a slot for inserting a credit or debit card. It can be connected with mobile devices to allow wireless payments for merchants' customers.

BAY is the first commercial bank in Thailand to make the dongle available for smart phones or tablets.

The bank hopes the new technology will help support its business plan to find small vendors that can upgrade to SMEs.

The device will help reduce the amount of cash that agents have to bring with them.

The cheaper option is part of the bank's strategy to boost its business with small and medium-sized enterprises.

BAY estimates that online commerce via credit and debit cards, including mobile-phone-based spending on products and services, will surge to Bt207 billion by 2015.

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