Visa promotes greater use of debit cards

China Visa application 

The future is bright for debit cards as users shift from cash-based to electronic-based payments in line with the central bank's aim to cut operating costs, says Somboon Krobteeranon, the country manager for Visa International Thailand.

Spending by Visa debit card rose by 26% last year, surpassing 18% growth for all types of Visa cards.

Of a total of 37 million Visa cards, 80% are debit cards but only 5% of debit card holders regularly use them.

"The marginal ratio of active debit cards is mainly due to Thais still using cash," Mr Somboon said.

"We plan to increase active cards to half the total Visa debit card base over the next three to five years."

Meanwhile, Visa yesterday launched a new promotional campaign, Visa Debit Rewards 2012, that offers incentives to card holders for spending with the card.

Choke Na Ranong, the manager of Bangkok Bank's credit card division, said BBL's plastic card base is 14 million, of which just 300,000 to 400,000 are debit cards.

Debit card holders are largely students, foreigners and users who cannot get a credit card. The bank plans to expand card usage to 16 million this year.

"BBL wants to improve electronic-based payments to reduce the country's long-term operating expenses," Mr Choke said.

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Validity of Visa
A single entry Chinese visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue, and a double entry visa is valid for 6 months. A China visa holder must enter China before the expiration date for the visa to remain valid.
Duration of Stay
The duration of stay is specified on a Chinese visa. Chinese visa holders must not stay beyond the specified date without extending their visas. Otherwise, they will be subject to stiff penalties.