Digital ID in Thailand will reportedly begin a trial next month via a new program designed to boost financial inclusion. The program reportedly could pave the way for other digital ID efforts there, assuming tests and a public rollout go well.
The national digital ID program employs blockchain and facial recognition technology, according to reports from Thai news sources. “Digital ID will enable users to have a new feature for mobile banking, by which the banks are identity platforms,” Thailand-based cybersecurity specialist Bhume Bhumiratana told reporters. “Once you make a transaction with other financial companies, it can be performed with digital ID, without requiring any documents,” adding that users can use the digital ID at multiple banks under current plans.
This digital ID program in Thailand falls mainly in the category of “know your customer.” According to reports, the program will use facial recognition to verify the identifies of customers opening bank deposit accounts
The digital ID effort includes such organizations as the country’s Digital Government Development Agency, the Bank of Thailand, the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission and the country’s Revenue Department. Officials said that for the test to succeed, the various stakeholders will have to coordinate their activities so that the digital ID program runs smoothly and presents a seamless experience for consumers — indeed, that is among the main challenges of most country-wide digital ID programs, whether for authenticating citizenship or validating financial transactions.
Digital ID in Thailand aims for fraud prevention
This digital ID program in Thailand falls mainly in the category of “know your customer.” According to reports, the program will use facial recognition to verify the identifies of customers opening bank deposit accounts — a step that can help prevent criminals from assuming fraudulent identities, or stealing legitimate ones, in order to open accounts, gain access to credit or facilitate the theft of funds by money transfers.
The cost of such fraud can be significant in Thailand, and not only to consumers. According to an article in the Bangkok Post, banks or other financial operators face fines of more than US$9,000, and then $300 per day, for data breaches until the problem is resolved to regulator satisfaction. As well, trust in digital payment systems — the infrastructure of which is spreading in Thailand and many other countries in Asia — can be eroded if there is too much fraud. Preventing that from happening also is reportedly on the minds of bankers and government officials in that country as the digital ID tests approach in January.