The Bank of Thailand Announces CBDC Pilot for Retail Transactions
Summary: The Bank of Thailand is launching a pilot project to test a CBDC for use in retail transactions inside a regulatory sandbox. It will involve three payment processors, Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank, and 2C2P. The programme will involve up to 10,000 people.
The Bank of Thailand will launch a pilot project this month to test a CBDC for use in retail transactions inside a regulatory sandbox. The local media has said that three payment processors would be involved. This August long study might include as many as 10,000 people.
Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank, and 2C2P, a Singaporean payments service provider, will work together on the effort. Each company has published an app with a restricted user base; these apps may be used as both a wallet and a QR code reader.
The program will include as many as two thousand Krungsri workers and one hundred local company owners. It intends to roll out the program to its facility in Ploenchit as well. Siam Commercial Bank will conduct a pilot program based on the Krungsri concept. Including participation from both bank employees and local companies.
Still Testing Phase
Originally announced in August, the pilot episode wasn’t expected to run until 2022. The Bank of Thailand sees this experiment more as a “pilot to learn” than a “pilot launch.” At this time, the central bank has no plans to formally create a CBDC.
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The Bank of Thailand had said that the development of a wholesale CBDC would commence in 2018. It worked with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on the Inthanon-Lion Rock project and the Bank for International Settlements’ mBridge cross-border payment effort.
Eyeing Revenue Generation
Businesses that issue investment tokens were exempted from paying corporate income tax and value-added tax by the government in March. According to government officials, Thailand would lose around $1 billion in revenue over the next two years, but hopes to make up the difference by selling investment tokens worth $3.7 billion.