Vocalink has developed a transformational payments service for Thailand, providing a Real-Time Payments Switch (IPS) and a Multi Proxy Platform (MPP), which has allowed it to enter the world of real-time payments.

The Thailand Challenge

Since 2004, led by Bank of Thailand, Thailand has been implementing its Financial Services Master Plan (FSMP), a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s finance infrastructure. Last year, it reached Phase III of its plan which focused on driving a digital economy through advances in its electronic financial and payments services.

A big part of this plan was to accelerate the move towards a cashless society and enable greater financial access for all Thai citizens, particularly for those outside major cities.

Real-time electronic payments were considered to be fundamental to delivering these changes and a committee of Chief Information Officers from the country’s leading banks appointed Vocalink to realise its bold ambitions. 

Over 40 million

registered users


registered banks

Over 173 million

transactions since launch

the core technology

Based on our real-time payments technology, which we successfully rolled out in the UK and Singapore, Vocalink built a unique service, PromptPay, which consisted of a Multi Proxy Platform (MPP) and bespoke IPS switch solution.

It was a requirement that, in order to reduce risk and meet the challenging timescales laid out by the Thai government, the solution should minimise the impact to the Thai banks. Therefore the banks were allowed to undertake a phased implementation of the ISO 20022 standard, initially going live with a solution that uses their existing connectivity based on the ISO 8583 protocol.

In order to achieve this, Vocalink developed an adaptor component that sits within the central infrastructure. It allowed the banks to connect via ISO 8583, have their message transformed into ISO 20022 and forwarded to PromptPay. Not only does this approach reduce the cost of entry for the banks and allow them to use protocols and message formats with which they are already familiar, but it also allows banks to migrate to the ISO 20022 standard at their own pace.

Our technology has enabled real-time payments in Thailand and currently being used for government payments, B2B and peer-to-peer credit transfers.  Together, they are allowing individuals to make payments to each other using any one of the proxy identities, including national ID, mobile phone number or email address.

The IPS switch

Driving a digital economy

In January 2017, PromptPay went live. Just six months later, over half of the population (31.5 million citizens) had signed up to use its services, and currently the system is handling in excess of 35,000 transactions per day.

Since launch, Vocalink has already significantly accelerated Bank of Thailand’s realisation of its Financial Services Master Plan, increasing economic efficiency, reducing reliance on cash and enabling individuals, businesses and government to benefit from immediate payments in an increasingly digital economy. The arrival of real-time payments is a breakthrough for Thailand and has played a major part in the government-led strategy to bring 21st century banking services to all communities in Thailand.

PromptPay will reduce Thailand’s reliance on a physical banking infrastructure and cash, while at the same time accelerating the adoption of mobile payments, address financial inclusion and support the expansion of Thailand’s burgeoning digital economy.