Welfare card use remains vibrant despite card-reader hiccup

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Khon Kaen – While use of welfare cards, which are issued to low income earners by the government, was widespread on the second day of their validity, some locations reported long lines caused by a shortage of card scanners.

However, in Khon Kaen province, officials from the Ministry of Finance inspected use of the cards in Baan Fang district and found the system working smoothly. The province is home to 84 shops equipped to accept the cards.

In Chaiyaphum province, many users were seen maxing out their cards and saying that the cards helped them to live within their means. The province noted some issues with card readers which resulted in some delays. Krung Thai Bank has urged vendors to pick up more scanners to improve the situation.

At SR Super-Mart in Petchabun, there was a large turnout of people using the entire 200 to 300 baht welfare card budget as they bought up much of the department store’s supplies. All buyers said they were very happy with the system and urged the establishment of more Blue Flag Shops.

Similarly, in Rayong province, shops reported a shortage of card readers. Currently, only 34 out of a total 122 welfare support shops are equipped with the machines.

At Surat Thani’s Agricultural Cooperative, which has only one card scanner, there was a long line of shoppers queuing to buy goods like rice, vegetable oil and detergent.