KBank rolls out Facebook Messenger payment service

KBank rolls out Facebook Messenger payment service

Kasikornbank (KBank) has entered the social commerce platform by becoming the first Thai bank to offer payment service via Facebook Messenger, targeting transaction value of 30 billion baht for the first year of operations.

The bank yesterday debuted a seamless payment experience using Facebook Messenger through a new mobile banking feature called "Pay with K Plus".

Consumers can make payment instantly on Messenger, eliminating the need to enter an account number or switch screens when conducting a transaction.

The new payment service offering is in line with the positive growth of social commerce globally. In Thailand, social commerce totalled 137 billion baht last year, said the Electronic Transactions Development Agency.

The bank's transaction value through social commerce platform is 70 billion baht, representing 51% of the market, said president Patchara Samalapa.

KBank, the country's fourth-largest lender by assets, provides the industry's leading mobile banking service. The bank aims to increase transaction value via the Pay with K Plus service to 100 billion baht in one year. The new K Plus feature is forecast to increase the number of mobile banking users to 10.4 million, up from 8.4 million.

The bank offers cash back to both buyers and sellers in an attempt to encourage e-payment service growth. The bank gives up to 5,000 baht to sellers, with the promotional campaign running until July 31, 2019. Buyers will get 100 baht cash back for spending at least 300 per transaction, with that leg of the promotion running until Sept 25, 2019.

Vendors have to make their wares available on Facebook and be officially approved by the social media platform.

"This year, we've gained 150,000 new mobile banking users per month, on average, a slower rate than in the past. The lower growth rate is mainly because of near-full penetration for mobile banking in Bangkok and major provinces. So the bank needs to expand upcountry, which is not easy," said Mr Patchara.

He said the bank offers unsecured loans to online sellers using the new payment service. KBank is providing 2 billion baht in total, with loans ranging from 200,000 to 1 million. The interest rate charge is based on the minimum retail rate, averaging 10% annually.

The bank plans to offer the loan service to 500 customers as a pilot project. Using data analytics, KBank said it does not need additional documentation or collateral to offer the loan product.

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