Yesterday, after Prime Minister Setsathit Thaweewasin announced the Digital Wallet project, he specified the criteria for receiving 10,000 baht in the Digital Wallet. He stated that individuals with a monthly income exceeding 70,000 baht and a total balance of over 500,000 baht across all accounts would be ineligible. The data revealed that there are 1.3 million people with incomes greater than 70,000 baht and 3.5 million people with balances exceeding 500,000 baht. The exclusion of these groups results in a remaining budget of 500,000 million baht. A pertinent question arises regarding the source of this data and how the government determines each person’s total deposit amount.
Chulapun Amornwirat, the Minister of Finance, affirmed in an interview with ThairathTV that the government possesses this dataset. However, he did not disclose the specific agency responsible for acquiring this information, while undeniably assuring that there is no violation of personal data protection laws.
One agency that has received deposit data is the Revenue Department, which mandates that banks submit interest data for all accounts to calculate interest tax since 2019. If the Revenue Department were to leverage this information retrospectively, based on interest rates, they could estimate each individual’s deposit amount.
Historically, Thailand’s account deposit data is limited to disclosing only account-specific information and does not reveal the distribution of funds within each individual’s accounts. The most recent data on the Bank of Thailand’s website indicates that there are approximately 3.584 million accounts with balances exceeding 500,000 baht, closely aligning with the Prime Minister’s mentioned figures. The Bank of Thailand confirmed with Blognone that they do not have this dataset within their organization.
To ascertain the total combined deposit of Thai individuals across all accounts and banks exceeding half a million baht, the establishment of a central data hub is necessary. This central hub would aggregate individual financial data received from each bank, regardless of the amount held in each account. Some individuals may not have deposits surpassing 500,000 baht in any single bank, but the cumulative balance across multiple banks may exceed this threshold.