Paying with QR codes in Thailand

As I don't have a kitchen in the apartment in Thailand, I need to eat outside always. There is a restaurant near my condo that has great prices, it's very clean, and meals fit well on a healthy diet. Since Jaruwan worked until evening, today was the first time that I went alone to eat at this restaurant.

As an introvert, it feels weird eating in company. I rather cook something at home while listening to a podcast or watch a YouTube video. However, a tiny apartment forces you to do things that you don't enjoy. Anyway, I ordered moo kratiem, which is pork with garlic, and a bottle of water. The meal was delicious, but when I was going to pay, the waiter told me that I couldn't pay in cash. "Only with QR," she said.

I starred at the QR code on the table, wondering if some iOS app could save me. I looked at my banking apps, but neither had the QR payment option. I didn't have any idea on how to pay with QR codes here in Thailand, so I told the waiter that if it was fine to do it later when Jaruwan arrived home (she know us, as we have been several times there). She is very kind and she said yes, no worries.

The meal was ~70 baht, but I hate owing things to people. So, I sent a message to Jaruwan asking her how to do a QR payment here in Thailand. She answered me that I needed a Thai banking account. I kind of felt out of the game, I'm not a Thai citizen, so I can't make a bank account without a working permit or similar.

Without the ability to pay with QR, I wouldn't be able to eat at this restaurant, and it's kinda my favorite. So, we needed to think of a solution. Luckily, Jaruwan has a bank account which she doesn't use, so I'll pay her in cash and she'll instantly transfer money to this account, so I don't starve. I've tried the payment method with her and it's pretty convenient.

In Spain we have Bizum, but QR payments are cool. I remember watching a documentary months ago about China and how they mainly use QR to pay. Now I have experienced firsthand what it meant, and it's easy and quick. They may become the credit card killers.

Hi, I'm Erik, an engineer from Barcelona. If you like the post or have any comments, say hi.