KBank launches campaign for debit cards

Kasikornbank (KBank) plans to add 4 million debit cards this year through an aggressive marketing campaign.

Such significant growth will help to gradually migrate the country from a cash-based society to a card-based one in line with central bank objectives.

Executive vice-president Pakorn Partanapat said Thailand has about 40 million debit cards, with the number rising by 10% per year.

Expansion of debit cards will help to reduce the banking industry's costs in accordance with Bank of Thailand aims.

Consumers have greater awareness of debit card features and the advantage of getting several benefits from a typical card compared with an ATM card.

Debit cards have shown significant growth as ATM cards have become less popular. However, most bank customers use a debit card as an ATM card for withdrawing money.

About 20% of debit card transactions are payments, Mr Pakorn said.

He said the 40 million debit cards nationwide account for spending of 57 billion baht, while KBank's 8 million debit cards generate 28 billion.

The bank targets a 30-35% increase in fee-based revenue from debit cards this year.

"Our character cards and their benefits are the key strategy to boost the bank's debit cards in terms of both their base and spending. The strategy will remain throughout this year," Mr Pakorn said.

KBank yesterday launched a Doraemon debit card, targeting 500,000 users this year. Other character cards recently launched include Paul Frank, Hello Kitty and Angry Birds.

Mr Pakorn said lifestyle debit cards matching each customer segment will be introduced this year along with more character cards.

About the author

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Writer: Somruedi Banchongduang
Position: Business Reporter