Thailand begins CBDC pilot with 2 banks and Singapore payment service in retail sector.

The Bank of Thailand is set to launch a pilot project for a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) this month, which will take place in a regulatory sandbox. Local media reports suggest that three payment providers will take part in the project, which will involve up to 10,000 users and run through August.

The Thai central bank will partner with Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank, and Singapore-based payments service provider 2C2P for the project. Each of these organizations has made an app available to selected users, which includes a wallet and a QR code scanner.

Krungsri will involve up to 2,000 staff members and around 100 local merchants located around the bank’s headquarters. It will also expand the project to its Ploenchit branch. Managing Director of Krungsri Innovate, Sam Tanskul, said that “The bank needs to determine a strategy to differentiate retail CBDC from [its] PromptPay service.”

Siam Commercial Bank’s pilot will operate in a similar way to Krungsri’s, with staff and neighboring merchants taking part.

Related: Thailand’s Central Bank Eyes DeFi Use Cases for Its Digital Baht

The project was announced in August and was originally scheduled to launch in 2022. The Bank of Thailand has referred to the project as a “pilot to learn” rather than a pilot launch. The central bank has no official plans to launch a CBDC.

Furthermore, the Bank of Thailand announced back in 2018 that it was developing a wholesale CBDC. The bank also participated in the Bank for International Settlements’ mBridge cross-border payment project and Project Inthanon-Lion Rock project with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

In March, the country waived corporate income tax and value-added tax for companies that issue investment tokens. A government spokesman said that Thailand could lose about $1 billion in revenue but expected investment tokens to generate $3.7 billion over the next two years.

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