Visa has partnered with the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to boost digital payments acceptance in six major cities across the country, including Bangkok.

Under the alliance, Visa will work with financial institutions to help business partners upgrade their payment acceptance service to card payments.

Businesses that already accept cards can upgrade to accept contactless payments, including contactless card, smartphone and wearables.

In addition, Visa will collaborate with banks to train cashiers on compliance with the Safety and Health Administration (SHA) standards.

TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn said: “We have created the SHA certification programme, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Ministry of Public Health, Board of Trade of Thailand, and Thai tourism operators to regain tourist confidence and position Thailand as a preferred global tourism destination.

“Under the ‘new normal’, Thailand’s tourism industry will experience many changes that will be introduced, including cashless payments for products and services.”

The first phase of the collaboration will involve support to businesses accepting card and cashless payments in the Sukhumvit area.

The second phase will expand support to Chiang Mai, Phuket, Pattaya, Samui and Hua Hin regions by the end of the year.

Visa country manager in Thailand Suripong Tantiyanon said: “Tourism is one of Thailand’s growth engines, so Visa is committed to helping stakeholders in the sector adapt to the post Covid-19 situation, recover and grow.

“We are pleased to be able to leverage our technological expertise, experience and network to support the country’s economic recovery while accelerating the digital transformation.”

A recent study by Visa found that 61% of people in Thailand prefer to use card or mobile payments over cash.

Last week, Visa teamed up with Canadian payment processor Moneris Solutions to facilitate quick funds disbursement for more Canadians.