Workforce Payments Guide Thailand
Last updated: Dec 18, 2023
Papaya Global fully support payments in Thailand
Papaya Global supports payments to contractors in Thailand. The payout currency may vary based on the receiver bank account setup when receiving foreign currencies. It is advised for contractors to reach out to their bank to confirm how foreign currencies are handled
The Know Your Customer (KYC) process in Thailand is a part of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) measures. It involves a two-stage procedure of identifying and verifying customers. The process starts with the customer presenting their identification, typically a national ID card. The financial institution then verifies that the customer is the true owner of the information provided. This can be done through checking the ID card with the electronic verification system of a government agency or using smart card readers. The customer’s identification data is updated to be as current as possible.
The KYC process can be performed in various ways such as face-to-face verification with the customer, electronic verification (eKYC), or video conference systems. For non-transferable payments, providers must follow the customer identification and verification procedural requirements in the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA). Additional verification is required for transferable payments. For corporate customers, the identification and verification of the authorized person is required.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has updated e-KYC regulations allowing financial institutions to use electronic devices to open accounts for individual customers, but this requires prior approval from the BOT. KYC documents can now be accepted in the form of electronic data and electronic signatures. The implementation of e-KYC also presents challenges around data privacy and robust security measures. Institutions must ensure the confidentiality and security of customer information and comply with data protection regulations. Any other KYC process needs approval from the Bank of Thailand. Compliance with the updated KYC regulations was to be achieved by November 2, 2020.
Country-specific banking laws and regulations that impact cross-border workforce payments.
There are several banking laws and regulations in Thailand that impact cross-border workforce payments:
Cross-Border Payment System: The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has implemented a cross-border payment system called PromptPay, which has been expanded to other ASEAN countries and beyond. This system is used for cross-border QR payments and cross-border fund transfers, with real-time execution at relatively lower fees. For example, Singaporean workers in Thailand can transfer money to recipients in Singapore having a DBS, OCBC, or UOB bank account through BBL, KBANK, KTB, or SCB mobile application by using the mobile phone number of the recipient.
Restructuring A Cross-Border Workforce: When restructuring a cross-border workforce, employers must abide by the procedures stated in their employment contracts or agreements, work rules, or a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with a labour union or the employee representatives regarding ending the employment relationship.
Foreign Business Act (FBA): According to the FBA, a foreign business operator is unlikely to be considered conducting restricted business in Thailand that would require a license under the FBA unless they send an employee to conduct business activities in Thailand.
Bank Account Opening
To open a corporate bank account in Thailand, the following requirements must be met:
1. Filling the bank’s application form.
2. A copy of the company’s registration certificate.
3. Stamped minutes of the board of directors meeting authorizing the opening of the account and designating the signatories for payments and closure of the account.
4. The tax ID card of the company.
5. ID card or passport of every member of the board of director and shareholder who holds more than 25%.
6. Copy of the articles of association and memorandum of association.
7. BOJ 3 or BOJ 4.
8. Shareholder’s list.
9. A minimum deposit of THB 500 (may differ between banks).
10. Additional documents such as a work permit, company records, tax details, and personal financial information may be required.
11. Visiting the local bank to submit the documents and hold a meeting with the manager at the bank’s local branch.
The process for opening the account takes approximately one week.
The major foreign banks operating in Thailand are United Overseas Bank (UOB), CIMB Bank, and Citibank.
Major Local Banks
The major local banks operating in Thailand include:
1. Kasikorn Bank
2. Siam Commercial Bank
3. Bangkok Bank
4. TMBThanachart Bank
5. Krungthai Bank
7. United Overseas Bank (UOB).
The B2C payment tools available in Thailand include:
2. Opn Payments
3. Pay Solutions
7. Money Space
8. GB Primepay
9. Skrill Payment
10. Stripe Payment Gateway
11. PromptPay payments system
12. e-Wallets (both global and local)
13. Bank transfers
14. Credit Cards
15. Debit Cards
16. Cash payment
19. Line Pay
20. Siam pay
21. Card (Credit/Debit)
22. Cash on Delivery (COD) or Cash on Pick Up
23. Digital Wallets (TrueMoney, Rabbit Line Pay, and PromptPay)
24. Coda Payments
25. Bangkok-based Payment Gateway
28. Inai Platform
29. QR code payment
30. Instalment Payment Plan of Credit Cards (IPP)
31. Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL)
Cryptocurrency is acceptable in Australia and is subject to various regulations:
Crypto-assets: The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) provides guidelines for businesses involved with crypto-assets such as cryptocurrency, tokens, or stablecoins. It covers obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001.
Digital Currency Exchange Providers: New laws have been implemented by AUSTRAC, Australia’s financial intelligence agency and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulator, for digital currency exchange (DCE) providers operating in Australia. These laws cover the regulation of service providers of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.
Regulating Digital Asset Platforms: The Australian Treasury has proposed a regulatory framework for digital asset platforms that present similar risks to entities that operate in the traditional financial system.
Digital Currency (Cryptocurrency): Businesses that exchange digital currencies must enroll and register with AUSTRAC.
it is possible to pay employees with cryptocurrencies in Thailand. According to the country’s regulations, salaries paid to employees in cryptocurrencies are considered income from employment under Section 40 (1) of the Revenue Code, while remuneration paid to contractors in cryptocurrencies is seen as income from performing work under Section 40 (2) of the Revenue Code. The calculation of both income and the cost of cryptocurrency shall use the value at the time of acquisition or the average price on the date of acquisition. Taxpayers can claim any withholding tax deducted during the tax year as a tax credit.
Cryptocurrencies are regulated by the Emergency Decree on Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561 (2018) and a series of regulations issued by the Ministry of Finance and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC). The SEC, which regulates cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, prohibits “digital asset business operators” from allowing cryptocurrency to be used as a means of payment for goods and services. However, there is no general prohibition against cryptocurrencies. The sale of Bitcoin or other tokens to the public is also regulated by specific legislation.
Income derived from cryptocurrency or digital tokens is classified as taxable income and the applicable withholding tax rate is 15%. The transfer of cryptocurrency or digital tokens in a digital asset exchange is exempt from value-added tax. Crypto investors are required to report their digital assets to the Revenue Department annually. The value of these assets must be declared in Thai Baht, and the department will tax the income generated from the sale of these assets. Crypto investors must also pay a 15% withholding tax on any profits made from trading cryptocurrencies. It’s crucial to keep track of all transactions and have accurate records to ensure compliance with the tax laws.
Furthermore, the purchase or sale of cryptocurrency must be in cryptocurrencies accepted by the SEC office, which periodically publishes a list of approved cryptocurrencies. All gains made by the cryptocurrency transaction are subject to withholding tax whether for Thai residents or non-residents.