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Digital ID in Thailand entering test phase

According to a recent report, 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 in the country, 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.

It was noted that the Digital ID will enable users to have a new feature for mobile banking, by which the banks are identity platforms, according to a Thailand-based cybersecurity specialist.

The specialist also noted that once someone makes a transaction with other financial companies, it can be performed with a digital ID, without requiring any documents, adding that users can use the digital ID at multiple banks under current plans.

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 to prevent fraud.

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 a recent article, banks and other financial institutions will face penalties of more than US$9,000, and then US$300 per day, for data breaches until the problem is resolved to regulator satisfaction.

According to the article, the Thai approved in principle a draft digital ID bill to facilitate transactions and ensure security for online users in September 2018.

The move that bankers believed will help banks expand their account base through the internet and smartphones at a rapid pace.

In addition, 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.

Thus, in order to prevent the erosion of trust, bankers and government officials in that country are putting a lot of effort into developing the digital ID and having it undergo various rigorous tests as its rollout approaches in January 2019.

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