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25 Sep 2018


Digital ID bill paves the way for Thailand to enter the digital era (Business Brief No.3762)


  • Under the Digital Identification bill, a National Digital Identification (NDID) committee will be set up to govern digital authentication, which will announce additional regulations for Digital ID. The Digital ID bill empowers the committee to regulate three areas:  1) digital identification verification system, 2) authorization system, and 3) personal data protection.
  • The draft of digital ID legislation paves the way for full-fledged digital verification and authentication, and should benefit many industries such as financial and banking business, and healthcare. At present, many commercial banks are planning to use Electronic Know Your Customer, or e-KYC, instead of the face-to-face authentication method. The Digital ID bill will enable commercial banks to provide comprehensive services by using e-KYC. Some commercial banks plan to expand e-KYC to cover more services, especially digital lending, e.g., secured and unsecured loans including credit card loans, personal loans and auto loans. The digital process will not only facilitate transactions by making them more convenient for customers, but also promote financial inclusion by increasing the demographic base of clients who can access financial services in Thailand.
  • If the Digital ID law comes into effect, it may help the government save costs amounting to THB127 million in the first year. The UK government previously estimated that identity verification via the GOV.UK Verify scheme helped save GBP36.5 million during the pilot period.[1] Based on analysis calculation, the Thai government may be able to save THB127 million in the first year after changing from face-to-face identification to the digital ID system.
  • By introducing a digital ID system, Thailand may take a step in the right direction towards the digital economy. Nonetheless, there are many issues that Thailand must take into consideration to ensure a smooth transition. For example, regarding the effort to make Digital ID mainstream, the government faces the challenge of how to encourage the public to widely embrace the Digital ID system as it would not be mandatory for the public to sign up. There are also concerns over the transmission of information among the related agencies in the network and the attendant cyber security threats. As the country's information will be increasingly linked to the digital database system, important personal information may suffer greater risk of exposure to cyber theft.

[1]  'How digital and technology transformation saved GDP1.7bn last year' – Government Digital Service Blog, 23 October 2015: