BANGKOK Oct 6 Thailand's Kasikornbank Pcl
said on Thursday it has formed an alliance with
Tencent Holdings' popular mobile messaging app WeChat
to provide electronic payment services to Chinese visitors in
the Southeast Asian country.
The Chinese are the largest group of visitors to Thailand,
which has seen a steady increase in Chinese tourists in recent
years. WeChat has about 800 million users globally.
Kasikornbank's electronic payments services via WeChat Pay
can be accessed at more than 200,000 points in the country,
Noppawan Jermhansa, executive vice president at Thailand's
fourth-largest lender by assets, said in a statement. The
service is expected to be started this month, the bank said.
Last week, Thai e-commerce firm Asset Bright Pcl
formed an alliance with WeChat to offer e-payment services and
targeted the 8 million Chinese tourists visiting Thailand
annually with estimated spending of about 420 billion baht
($12.05 billion) a year.
Kasikornbank's research arm expects about 9 million Chinese
tourists this year, up 13.4 percent from last year, and
forecasts that Thailand will remain the top destination for
Chinese visitors over the next three years.
($1 = 34.8500 baht)
(Reporting by Khettiya Jittapong; Editing by Muralikumar