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Bangkok’s street-food vendors are embracing the digital revolution

The city’s street-food scene is part of the daily life for many Thais and a favorite among tourists. Using their smartphones, street-food vendors are increasingly offering cashless payment.


Following the decision of the Bank of Thailand (BOT), in November 2017, to allow five financial institution to provide Quick Response (QR) code payment service, vendors of the Thai capital have started to adopt mobile payments. The newly created Thai QR code has officially been taken out of the sandbox phase. The approved financial institutions include KASIKORNBANK, Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, Bangkok Bank, and Government Saving Bank.


Vendors use a personal QR code. Customers wishing to pay with their mobile then scan the code, enter the price of the transaction and confirm payment. A notification of payment is instantly sent to the seller’s smartphone.

Street-food vendor QR code Thailand. Source: Reuters

Picture taken on Nov 22, 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand. Source: Reuters

“The global trend is towards a ‘cashless society’ as it is more convenient and there is proof of transaction. The QR code system would be most practical in Thailand as less investment is needed on behalf of vendors,” Somsak Khaosuwan, Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society, told Reuters.