Digital Service Promotion & Governance’ for Thais

The Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA) led its executive team to the “TIME TO CHANGE: 13 Years of ETDA #LifeisGoodwithDigitalSupport” event to present its outstanding performance in 2023. In the past year, ETDA took up the vital mission of ushering Thais, with confidence and greater safety, towards a good digital life. In its 13th year, ETDA faced the challenges of “Pushing for Reliable Electronic Transactions via Expansion of Digital ID Services – Digital Service Platform Governance and Corporate AI Governance Guideline – Digital Adoption & Transformation in Various Sectors – Transforming Thais into Digital Workforce via Upskilling, Digital Literacy and Abilities to Tackle Online Threats”. At the event, ETDA also presented its future vision or 2024 plans. In the coming year, ETDA intends to speed up work in four key areas: “Digital ID – Digital Platform Services – AI Governance – Digital Adoption & Transformation” as it prepares to take up the role of Co-Creation Regulator. Not only it will provide counselling, but it will also actively function as a key Change Agent to ensure Thais find #LifeisGoodwithDigitalSupport. ETDA sets its sights on achieving its big goal of 30:30 by 2027. The event was held at Walk the Talk on the 15th floor of the ETDA headquarters.

Dr Chaichana Mitrpant, Executive Director of ETDA, revealed that ETDA had always contributed to efforts to foster Thailand’s digital society to raise its economic value as well as national competitiveness. ETDA intends to achieve the challenging goals of 30:30 by 2027. These goals are about raising the percentage of digital-economy value to GDP (gross domestic product) to 30 and putting Thailand in the world’s Top 30 rankings in terms of digital competitiveness. Today, ETDA is turning the 13th. ETDA has already done a lot in 2023 and covers four dimensions as follows:

Digital Infrastructure & Ecosystem to Urgently Activate Reliable Electronic Transactions by Expanding the Usage of Digital ID Services: Playing the role of Co-Creation Regulator, ETDA has not only promoted but also supported Digital ID or IdPs (identity providers) to ensure compliance with applicable standards. The governance is done under the Digital ID law, which already come into force. IdPs must register themselves for an assessment to obtain a license. To date, 21 IdPs have already registered themselves with ETDA. Pre-Consult services are also made available for enterprises interested in operating such services. Secondary laws have come out too to set clearer legal frameworks. ETDA, moreover, has issued Standards and Guidelines on Digital ID usage to address the risks of online transaction services. With such standards and guidelines, ETDA has provided Counseling on service system development to service providers such as ThaID, Moh Promt, Paotang, and National Digital ID (NDID) too. Expansion of usage through partners like the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) also went ahead by developing an identity verification system based on face recognition and pushing for more Digital ID use cases. For example, ETDA has promoted Digital ID usage for transactions done between legal entities and the Department of Business Development. Currently, the number of users through the ThaID application is 7,372,372, 85,000 are on the Mobile ID application, over 37.3 million are on the Paotang application, and usage on NDID is about 14.5 million.

Digital Service Governance to lower risks and boost competitiveness: Last year, ETDA launched ETDA Foresight Center. This year, this center partnered with both government and private organizations in making forecasts on Thai tourism as well as mental health. To obtain foresight, ETDA Foresight Center has continuously scanned for meaningful signals related to technologies that may affect electronic transactions. Being monitored are Digital ID, AI, Digital Transformation, and more. Findings have already been presented at the ETDA Foresight Symposium 2023. Moreover, ETDA laid down operational direction in a way that steps up digital platform service governance under DPS or Digital Platform Services law. As the law is now effective and digital platform service is available, providers of such services are legally required to register themselves with ETDA by 18 November 2023 if the provider is an individual with the income of over 1.8 million baht or a legal entity with the income of over 50 million baht or over 5,000 users. If they fail to register, they will be liable to legal punishments. Moreover, ETDA prepared the Digital Platform Assessment Tool for platforms that may not be sure as to whether they need to carry out the registration. The tool will determine their qualifications through a simple assessment, which takes just five minutes to complete. Results will be shown upon completion. To date, 467 providers have already taken this assessment. Aside, ETDA has a Pre-consult system to help providers prepare information for registration as well. Best practice has also been laid down. With ETDA’s push, nine secondary laws have come into force. They cover the protection of and remedy for service users, service conditions, rankings, registration methods, Help channels, complaint management and dispute resolutions. In addition, ETDA promoted AI Governance in key industries with the promotion made first in the healthcare industry via AIGC (AI Governance Clinic by ETDA). Backed by the AIGC team as well as Expert Fellowship based in Thailand and overseas, this clinic is ready to provide consultation services for AI governance in the organization. This year, the AI Governance Guideline for Executives was also released. It is Thailand’s first guidance on how to properly govern AI applications. Many healthcare organizations are interested in the guidelines. As a result, a workshop was held under interagency collaboration. Designed to increase knowledge and understanding of AI governance for the Policy level, the AI Governance Program (AiX) Class 1 for Healthcare Industry materialized and set a model for more such classes to follow in the coming year. ETDA, in addition, released AI Readiness Measurement 2023 to reflect Thai agencies’ readiness to apply AI. The information promises to help all sectors efficiently formulate relevant policies and strategies.

Digital Adoption & Transformation for Thais in all sectors to be ready to change and chase new opportunities: ETDA has applied knowledge and experience of not just itself but also its partners in creating business opportunities. Interested enterprises therefore can streamline work processes and increase their competitiveness in line with laws, standards, and applicable measures with the help of digital technology. Presently, ETDA has operated ETDA Sandbox to test innovations or services related to electronic transactions. It covers two parts: 1) Digital Service Sandbox that focuses on electronic-transaction service testing. Tests of e-Document, e-Signature and Digital ID services are available. In 2023, this sandbox also started testing e-Timestamp services. In the process of testing are now 15 items; and 2) Innovation Sandbox where innovations designed for the future are tested. Two items are in the process of testing here. Regarding studies on Thai SMEs’ preparedness, ETDA has released a Digital Transformation Maturity 2023 report in support of experiments that will pave the way for the creation of models and facilitate the integration of technology into business processes. As for other services, ETDA has provided e-Document Creation Infrastructure Services such as e-Timestamping service. To date, ETDA has already e-timestamped 19,667,446 e-documents. (This service will end on 30 September 2023 in favor of the same services provided by the private sector). Also, ETDA has provided e-Tax Invoice by Email service for VAT registrants that are small enterprises with an income of no more than 30 million baht a year. This service has linked information to the Revenue Department’s database too. To date, ETDA has already issued 822,094 e-Tax invoices. Moreover, it has already helped determine the reliability of e-documents through the Web Validation service for 88,364 e-documents (as of August 2023). In addition, ETDA has sought innovations for SMEs via Annual Hackathon Events like Hack for GOOD (Well-being) in the North and Hack for GROWTH (Tourism) nationwide.

Digital Workforce, Literacy & Protection for Thais via ADTE by ETDA’s training and counselling on specific digital skills for interested individuals and organizations. For example, ADTE teaches government agencies and enterprises especially SMEs how to apply Digital ID, e-Signature, e-Document so they are ready to digitalize work processes, business operations, and services. In 2023, up to 2,679 people have received training from ADTE while 326 others have sought its counselling. In collaboration with educational institutes in four regions, ETDA has gone ahead with its ETDA Local Digital Coach (ELDC) for Sustainable Community Economy. This initiative has continuously produced digital coaches at the community level. In 2023, 981 more coaches were produced for the mission of bringing community products and services online. These new coaches cover 126 new communities. ETDA has also continued the Boosting Craft Idea event for three consecutive years in a bid to find or jointly develop business models that suit community products and services. Addressing the needs of people including youth, the elderly and now the hearing impaired, ETDA Digital Citizen or EDC Training seeks to boost Thais’ digital literacy, enhance their digital skills and improve their digital literacy. This year, the training has covered more than 30,000 people. To date, EDC’ trainers have already produced 1,000 people. Moreover, more than 30 million Thais have accessed EDC’s media. Besides, EDC has also organized EDC Pitching for people to pitch ideas on the campaign “Martial Art for Cyberthreats” contest. To complement the ecosystem for Thais’ electronic transactions, ETDA has operated 1212 ETDA or Online Fraud and Complaint Center that handles complaints about electronic transaction problems. By accepting complaints, coordinating with relevant authorities, and providing counselling, ETDA aims to boost Thais’ protection and ensure they can access help faster. ETDA has also received complaints via the LINE application and provincial statistics offices. In 2023, people contacted ETDA 53,752 times for help and counselling. ETDA has already resolved 95.25% of the complaints. Furthermore, ETDA has gone to 22 provinces across four Thai regions to increase awareness of people’s digital literacy.

In 2024, ETDA will focus on its positioning as a leading Change Agent, its transformation into an innovation-driven organization, and its role as a Co-Creation Regulator for its mission to usher Thais, with greater confidence and safety, towards digital life. Four highlights of its work in the coming year will be:

  1. Digital ID – ETDA will urgently expand the usage of Digital ID, especially in public services so as to respond better to the needs of people. For the widespread use of Digital ID, ETDA will encourage at least 24 qualified IdPs (ID Providers). Also, ETDA will urgently develop Digital ID standards such as application-based ID document storage standards, foreigner identification standards, and legal entity authorization standards. Furthermore, ETDA will expand the DOPA’s FVS (Face Verification Service) usage to the verification of e-Signature and connect such services to other healthcare or financial platforms, etc.
  2. Digital Platform Services (DPS) – ETDA will seek to raise confidence in digital platforms and give better protection to consumers under the DPS law, which requires digital platform services to be more transparent. In 2024, ETDA will publicly announce the list of DPS providers that have properly registered their platform with ETDA. Also, it will push for the DPS Governance Framework as a mechanism to govern DPS providers. ETDA, in addition, will draft a Customer Identity Verification Manual for DPS and expand the scope of 1212 ETDA (Online Fraud and Complaint Center). Nearly 20 agencies will collaborate with ETDA in operating the center by accepting complaints from people, to support especially small platforms.
  3. AI Governance – AIGC by ETDA (AI Governance Clinic) will focus on expanding the usage of AI Governance Guidelines and toolkits across the healthcare industry and then across the financial industry and the public sector. Also, ETDA will provide counselling to interested organizations. Besides, preparing to launch the program training (AiX Program) in year 2 for executives, and mini-workshops will be held for operational staff.
  4. Digital Adoption & Transformation – ETDA will support the development of innovations via ETDA Sandbox and the magnification of Models, which are rooted in SME maturity findings, across various industries at the regional level. In addition, ETDA will provide counselling and skill-development support (via ADTE or Academy of Digital Transformation by ETDA), on top of preparing the digital workforce for the country alongside partners such as the Department of Skill Development. Moreover, ETDA will continue to develop digital coaches and business models for social enterprises. In addition, it will promote Digital Literacy via ETDA Digital Citizen (EDC) training, in which the EDC Team will revise the curriculum to reflect Thailand’s technology and social issues and launch it next year. ETDA, moreover, will continue to work with partners such as educational institutes, interested individuals or communities, in magnifying intended impacts. ETDA will produce trainers who can spread digital knowledge and media for the hearing impaired for better inclusiveness.

For the mission of creating a digital society and economy for Thais to enjoy better digital life and electronic transactions via a variety of digital services, greater confidence, and digital literacy, ETDA and its partners will organize a big event next year. It consists of international conferences and service providers’ exhibitions that are related to the Digital Ecosystem in key dimensions, participants in this event will receive knowledge sharing from national and international speakers. Tech industries, SMEs, other enterprises, government agencies and all newcomers in the digital transformation field therefore must not miss this event. It will be held in May 2024! For more information, please visit the Facebook Page: ETDA Thailand.