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18 May 2021

Econ Digest

Third COVID-19 outbreak boosts growth in mobile banking and e-wallet transactions


         The COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the growth of mobile banking and e-wallet transactions. A survey conducted by KResearch found that Thai consumers conduct funds transfers and payments for goods and services 19 times per week via mobile banking and e-wallet applications, up from 17 times per week during the first outbreak. Meanwhile, 53.9% of the increase in usage came from consumers who have had limited impact on their incomes. The amount per usage increased from the previous survey by THB350 and was focused on spending on food and beverages, consumer goods and fashion products, as in the previous survey.


         KResearch projects that the volume of payment and funds transfer transactions via mobile banking applications in 2021 will grow by 80.2-83.5% YoY, accelerating from growth of 79.7% in 2020. Likewise, e-money transaction volume is expected to grow by 15.8-18.0%, up from 8.7% in 2020, primarily driven by the use of the government's G-Wallet (Pao Tang) mobile application and by new entrant operators that have conducted more marketing. 


          ​The survey results show that 71.3% of consumers currently hold mobile banking applications while 28.6% hold e-wallet applications; however, service providers may face more challenges in the future, as consumers will be ready to switch applications if they are well motivated. This is consistent with another survey results, which found that the top 3 factors influencing e-wallet usage were convenience (34.4%), attractive promotions (16.9%), and merchants accepting payments for goods and services (16.2%). Furthermore, since most consumers (about 32.3%) have more than five mobile banking and e-wallet applications, service providers may face challenges in retaining their customer base and incentivizing customers to continue using applications. In addition, if Thai authorities regulate activities on the online platforms, this will affect the direction or form of payment.

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