Today Thailand counts close to 90 fintech start-ups, with the majority active in segments such as Payments (22%), Lending (18%), and Blockchain (16%). Key factors that are driving the country’s emergence as a fintech hub in South East Asia include high digital and mobile penetration, and a relatively young population that makes intensive use of social media and ecommerce platforms. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a surge in e-commerce and the use of digital and instant payments. According to Bank of Thailand (BOT), the country’s central bank, during the pandemic, digital payment transactions skyrocketed to an all-time high during the pandemic.
The Thai government is supporting new digital technologies as part of the Thailand 4.0 economic model, while the Digital Economy Promotion Agency has set up the ‘Thailand Digital Valley’ for start-ups, whose aim is to support start-ups, including those focusing on fintech solutions. Crucially, regulators such as the BOT, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC), have introduced regulatory sandboxes to support the development of fintech players.