By SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN
PayPal entered the Thai market a few years ago. Country lead Somwang Luangphaiboonsri said yesterday that the number of merchant accounts in Thailand was behind individual accounts.
Fees from merchants are the main revenue source for PayPal. It collects a fee at 4.4 per cent plus a fixed fee based on the currency received for international payments. The discounted rate for merchants is 3.9 per cent plus the currency-determined fixed fee.
Somwang, who joined PayPal Thailand last November, has been assigned to expand the number of merchants in this country, mainly those involved in cross-border activities.
He said the tourism sector had high potential for PayPal, which will send teams to educate merchants in tourism-related businesses on the benefits of using digital payments for cross-border business.
Merchants in the tourism sector include airline-ticket vendors, tour-package operators, and those running hotels and spas, he said.
PayPal has a total of 197 million accounts worldwide, of which 14.6 million are in Asia. All are active accounts, which PayPal defines as customer who use the service at least once a month.
Under company policy, PayPal cannot reveal the number of account-holders in Thailand, but Somwang said the company targeted double-digit growth in volumes of cross-border purchases made with mobile devices utilising PayPal.
PayPal yesterday released a consumer-research report based on a survey of the online shopping habits of more than 28,000 customers in 32 countries last year, including 800 participants in Thailand. The research showed new opportunities for Thai merchants to expand their international sales.
According to the report, Thai shoppers’ total online spending is predicted to increase by 16 per cent to Bt376.8 billion this year from the estimated Bt325.6 billion in 2016. Cross-border spending in Thailand is expected to grow by 84 per cent from the estimated Bt60.3 billion in 2016.
About 55 per cent of Thai adults said they would be spending more online in 2017.
Somwang said PayPal predicted an increase in Thailand’s mobile commerce from an estimated value of Bt141.7 billion in 2016 to Bt173.6 billion this year. This figure is likely to continue to grow with the proliferation of mobile devices and new mobile technologies that are emerging to create greater mobile-commerce opportunities for Thai consumers and merchants.