Krungthai Bank has apologised after the website allowing self-employed people to register to receive financial aid did not work as planned.
The state bank, which is responsible for the website, asked people to try again at midnight. Earlier, authorities asked people to start registering at 6pm on Saturday.
The Finance Ministry said affected people do not have to rush to register since no deadline has been set for the registration. “You don’t need to do it in the first second. If you are qualified, you will receive the financial aid. It’s not a first-come first-serve registration. While we expect 3 million people are qualified, it’s just an estimate. If more people meet the requirements, they will get the money in seven days,” said Lavaron Saengsanit, director of the Fiscal Policy Office.
Some 2.2 million people reportedly opened the website at 5.57pm, three minutes before it started accepting registration, while the website has a capacity to support 58,000 hits each second. Those eligible for the financial aid of 5,000 baht a month for three months are for those affected by the coronavirus outbreak. They include self-employed people, as well as those who were laid off, saw their working hours or salaries cut, or those whose places of work were closed by government orders. Interest in the registration caused long queues at state banks on Friday, forcing banks to close their branches on Saturday and Sunday to avoid attracting large crowds at a time when social distancing is recommended.
Financial Minister Uttama Savanayana also warned people against using the service offered by others to register on their behalf at the website in exchange for some cash deductions as they could have access to their bank account and sensitive information. He also pledged harsh legal action against those offering the service.