The “Sawasdee by AoT” app, which provides airport and flight information, is set to offer an e-payment feature by April enabling tourists to pay for goods and services outside airports, says app developer Sky ICT Plc.
The firm said necessary tourism information, including tourism calendars for major provinces and tourism support content, is being compiled to put on the app over the next three months.
The aviation industry is expected to recover faster than expected, buoyed by China’s reopening, said Kayon Tantichatiwat, chief commercial officer at Sky ICT, an aviation tech firm.
While tourism is regaining its momentum, the number of flights arriving in Thailand is still limited due to the impact of three years of the pandemic, he noted.
Sawasdee by AoT was upgraded from an app created by Airports of Thailand (AoT) and relaunched in late 2021.
Sky ICT obtained a 10-year concession to develop aviation platforms for AoT in a deal worth 8 billion baht.
This concession includes the development of the Sawasdee by AoT app, a self-service check-in system, a smart security system, an e-gateway, a facial recognition system, and a ground handling system.
Mr Kayon said AoT recently gave Sky ICT the green light to upgrade the Sawasdee by AoT app to connect with e-payment services outside the airports, complementing the Sawasdee Pay feature.
Sawasdee Pay, co-developed with Krungthai Bank, currently provides an e-wallet that tourists can use to make payments at partnered shops inside airports.
The Sawasdee by AoT app aims to support e-payments for shops outside the airports from April, Mr Kayon said.
The company is in talks with three payment gateway providers, including 2C2P, a platform that accepts domestic payments across online, mobile and instore channels via the app.
There are currently 64 features available on the app, including a “Tourist Help” feature, through which travellers can seek assistance from the police in six languages: Thai, English, Mandarin, Korean, Japanese and Russian.
Users can also purchase insurance at special prices, provided by Muang Thai Life Assurance.
Mr Kayon said Sky ICT is in talks with King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi to recategorise the features in the app to make it more attractive and easier to use, adding that the work is expected to be completed this year.
Sky ICT chief executive Sithidej Mayalarp said his company is an aviation tech firm providing consultations, designs, distribution of ICT products and services, and security solutions.
The company has 23 billion baht’s worth of project backlogs over the next eight years and 2 billion baht will be included in the financial statement this year, he said.
Sky ICT wholly owns the operating system integrator Pro Inside and smart security solution provider GFIN (Thailand).
Pro Inside, which contributes 10% of Sky ICT’s total revenue, is in the process of submitting a proposal to the Securities and Exchange Commission for listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said Mr Sithidej.