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Thailand’s decentralized national digital ID goes to testing ahead of mid-year launch


Thailand’s national digital ID service is undergoing testing and is expected to be available to the public as soon as three months from now, the Bangkok Post reports a local cybersecurity expert as saying. Bhume Bhumiratana told an audience at the “Blockchain for Sustainable Development Goals” forum that the decentralized system will be launched to a pilot limited to bank staff in January, and will go public within three to five months.

The system is intended to enhance digital security to facilitate online transactions, and enable greater access to bank accounts and lending. It provides banks with eKYC based on facial recognition and blockchain-powered identity authentication technology, according to Bhume. The Digital Government Development Agency, the Bank of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Revenue Department have all worked with a national ID team on the system, and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has also begun working with the team.

“Digital ID will enable users to have a new feature for mobile banking, by which the banks are identity platforms,” he said, according to the Post. “Once you make a transaction with other financial companies, it can be performed with digital ID, without requiring any documents.”

The improved identity ecosystem is expected to enable financial institutions to use data analytics to offer attractive interest rates matched to borrowers’ risk profiles, and the national ID team is discussing its application with the Education Ministry.

Biometrics are already fairly broadly used in Thailand, including for mandatory checks to authorize SIM card purchases.

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