KBank expands K Plus app offerings

KBank expands K Plus app offerings

KBank has signed an agreement with Thailand Post to provide QR code payment service at post offices nationwide.
KBank has signed an agreement with Thailand Post to provide QR code payment service at post offices nationwide.

Kasikornbank (KBank) has launched an e-commerce platform on its mobile banking app, K Plus, in a move to broaden services and fend off banking competition from platform giants.

The bank, which is Thailand's largest provider of mobile banking services with about 7.5 million users, aims to enlarge its user base to 10.8 million this year and double the number of digital financial transactions from last year's 3 billion, said senior executive vice-president Patchara Samalapa.

Transaction volume via the digital banking channel is expected to rise to 10 trillion baht this year from 6.3 trillion in 2017, Mr Patchara said.

Apart from online shopping, new features being added to K Plus include Quick Pay for fast QR code payment, digital lending and K Plus Shop, a payment service for the bank's merchant clients.

K Plus Shop has 850,000 merchants on the platform.

E-commerce on K Plus is not a full-scale e-marketplace platform, for which KBank is seeking Bank of Thailand approval. KBank is one of six applicants -- five are banks and the other is a non-bank financial firm -- asking the central bank's permission to provide their own e-marketplace platform.

"Digital banking shows strong growth with 3 billion transactions last year, compared with 180 million transactions via the bank's branch networks," Mr Patchara said. "Even though some of the bank's branches were closed, it has no plan to shut down the remaining outlets aggressively."

For digital lending, the bank is focused on providing the service to current customers. In the initial stage, the loans will be offered only to the bank's individual payroll clients who have debt-servicing ability.

KBank, the country's fourth-largest lender by assets, has about 2 million individual payroll clients, of which 800,000 qualify for the digital lending service because they have a minimum income of 15,000 baht a month, in line with Bank of Thailand rules governing unsecured loans.

The bank aims to double its personal loan portfolio to 20 billion baht, he said. The bank has not set a time frame for the loan expansion.

Digital lending is a channel to facilitate personal loans. KBank recently soft-launched the digital lending service, with a loan approval rate of about 10% of total customers.

The bank is also monitoring the asset quality of unsecured loans, with plans to gradually expand personal lending and use data analytics to control risk. KBank's current ratio of non-performing personal loans is 4-5% of personal loans outstanding.

In related news, KBank has signed an agreement to provide QR code payment service at 1,427 branches of Thailand Post.

KBANK shares closed unchanged yesterday on the SET at 225 baht in trade worth 1.3 billion baht.

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