CARDS & PAYMENTS | Tim Charlton, Thailand

Chart of the Week: Easing of travel restrictions to drive Thai card payments growth

Card payments is estimated to grow by 2.3% in 2020 and reach $82.8b by 2024.

The gradual easing of travel restrictions in Thailand will give a much-needed push not just to the economy but also drive growth in its payments industry, says leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

Card payments in Thaialnd is estimated to grow by 2.3% in 2020 and reach $82.8b (THB2.5t) by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.2% in the next four years.

Cash, which has been traditionally a preferred mode of consumer payments, is now taking a back-seat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The growing adoption of card payments is also supported by rising awareness of electronic payments, an expanding payment infrastructure, and an increase in the country’s banked population.

“The tourism-reliant Thailand is amongst the handful of countries that effectively controlled the COVID-19 pandemic with little over 3,600 cases. This coupled with government’s support for tourism sector, easing of travel restrictions and resurgence of consumer spending will drive the Thai card payments market in the coming years,” says Nikhil Reddy, banking and payments analyst at GlobalData.

The COVID-19 outbreak affected Thai economy, particularly its tourism sector, resulting in revenue loss of over $1b in Q1.

To revive the tourism sector, the government provided stimulus packages worth $3.4b along with other benefits like subsidies for hotel stays and flights tickets for travelers.

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