Office of the NBTC Teaming Up with Bank of Thailand to Regulate SIM Card Accounts and Mobile Payment System for Consumer Protection

Mr. Korkij Danchaivichit, NBTC Deputy Secretary-General, Telecommunications Service Unit, stated that NBTC is currently consulting with the Bank of Thailand regarding the appointment of a committee to specifically regulate mobile payment system since the use of mobile payment channel continues to rise, especially for buying products and services, while no specific organization has been assigned to regulate and ensure consumer protection in the case of damages due to the spending of SIM account and the use of mobile payment.       

Mr. Korkij, also added that Thailand’s mobile payment system is currently regulated by the Bank of Thailand in accordance with the Royal Decree on Electronic Payment Service Control B.E. 2551 (2010) which concerns all e-payment services via electronic device. However, the law mainly focuses on transactions that are related to the financial aspect of commercial banks, making difficult to keep up with current financial innovation and mobile application trends which are constantly changing as new technology and applications are introduced daily such as mobile top-up for product or service purchase or trading mobile money in exchange for product. Today, there are over 80 million prepaid mobile SIM Cards in use. If each SIM Card is topped up by 50 Baht, it will add up to as high as 400 million Baht daily. So, to prevent any problems in the future, relevant organizations namely the Bank of Thailand and NBTC must therefore collaboratively define proper rules and measures to ensure consumer protection.   

“In the near future, it is likely that commercial banks and mobile service operators will be competing in providing mobile payment service, especially when larger number of consumers prefers to buy products and services by topping up their mobile account. The significant amount and frequency of mobile top up is what the regulators must oversee and monitor to ensure consumer protection and safety and it is what NBTC is currently trying to establish after having successfully created SIM Card registration system that can identify the identity of mobile phone users, allowing NBTC to efficiently uplift consumer protection in regards to SIM Card amount and financial transactions. This sets a good foundation in driving the country towards digital economy,” said Mr. Korkij.
 

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