Rules on digital wallet scheme clarified


Pheu Thai Party’s digital wallet scheme will be implemented in the form of utility tokens, a news source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The party leading the government coalition promised during its election campaign to stimulate the domestic economy by providing 10,000 baht in digital money to all Thais aged over 16.

The money must be spent at local businesses within a 4km radius of the citizen’s registered address within six months. It is estimated that about 560 billion baht will be required for the project.

With the scheme now taking shape to meet the launch deadline of before the Songkran festival in April 2024, the latest update pointed to the 10,000-baht digital money taking the form of a type 1 utility token, the source said.

However, since the Bank of Thailand’s rules for utility tokens do not allow the use of digital tokens as a means of payment, Pheu Thai is likely to discuss a revision of the regulations with the central bank.

The source added that Pheu Thai is also looking to be more lenient about the 4-km. radius restriction to help citizens residing in remote areas with no eligible shops nearby.

Other rules that have been outlined so far include: The money must be spent on consumer products and daily necessities; eligible sellers can exchange the digital money for cash, provided that they have registered under the VAT system; spending on online shopping, alcoholic beverages, drugs, gambling, as well as debt repayment is prohibited.

Citizens can use the digital money via the QR code on the smartphone application. Those who do not have a smartphone can use their 13-digit ID card number as authentication instead.