Is there any payment system in Thailand that can be used instead of cash payments?

There is AliPay in China, Sberbank in Russia; Visa and Mastercard are accepted almost worldwide, but I couldn't find such a wide-acceptable payment system in Thailand.

About Visa/MasterCard/Union/...: a lot of shops, gas stations, restaurants, pharmacies, hotels, etc. don't accept any card at all — they just ignore all known types of cards. 7-Eleven shops accept cards only when the total is greater than 600฿, thanks gods there is FamilyMart (no restrictions, and a lot of tiny shops).

I saw True Wallet, but it is only for Thai-citizens (there are no other versions of the app excepting Thai-language version). And it doesn't look so popular (maybe I am wrong).

But the whole world is moving towards e-money. So, does anybody know how to stop using cash in Thailand?

  • 4
    You are searching for a solution, where no problem exists. Use cash! Self-sufficient, quick, anonymous, no artificial limits, overview about spent amount, doesn’t need a phone, internet, electricity or reputation. And if that doesn‘t work for some reason (hotels?), debit- or creditcard, which is practically waterproof, slim and largely standardized. – Peter Nov 30 at 23:39
  • @Peter, thank you, but your comment is off topic here, because the question is about alternatives, and not about advantages of cash payments. This branch of a discussion will lead us to endless fighting. And I just want to know how I can stop using papers and metal pieces for payments (it is 21 century here) – maxkoryukov Dec 1 at 14:14

If you mean a cashless payment system I saw a lot of people in Thailand use LinePay (with Line application), Paypal and a Samsung app with NFC. But sure applications and cashless systems are not really famous and used like China, Korea, and Japan.

There are several. LinePay, Lazada Wallet, RabbitCard, Paypal, PaysBuy (bought out by Omise ???), BluePay, Mpay. You already mentioned TrueWallet. You want official links? How about the Bank of Thailand (pdf version; 20% English but with logos)

Most banks have some sort of method where bills can be paid directly via online banking. Some banks you can actually initiate and/or collect WesternUnion incoming transfers via online banking. You can pay most people via direct bank transfer either online or via cash deposit machine (CDM).

Technically PromptPay is connected to your bank account (and a Thai mobile #). And currently you can transfer up to 50k baht to different banks instantly FREE via mobile/online banking (maybe a limit of 5 or 10 interbank transfers per month) same-bank transfers are normally free "unlimited" online also. But a CDM or ATM machine may have a charge for receiving accounts that are opened in a different region (province) than the origin of the transfer.

Tesco, Big C, 7-eleven, ThaiPost have ability to pay bills, but I think you must pay in cash in most cases. Orange Machines (in front of most 7-elevens and convenience stores) can also be used to pay certain bills.

Plus a lot of mom/pop shops can be used to topup or pay a bill....usually mobile sim topups.

Visa/Mastercard are accepted in most larger companies/chain stores. Technically Visa/MC are credit or debit (which is usually attached to a bank account). Don't you also have to topup AliPay, Sberbank, etc with cash before you can start using it?

At the core of this question, there is a need to exchange the money into THB before it can be used in Thailand. So you do end up interfacing with a bank at some point, even if the exchange is automated (like at the ATM or a Visa/MC payment). Cash is still king in this part of the world. Just like computers were supposed to make things paperless, but it produced more paper; it is similar with money. Money has been electronic for quite some time now....but there will still be a need for cash. Central banks already have a lot of trust.

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