TMB introducing online account opening
From next month, TMB plans to offer electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC), a feature enabling customers to open ME savings accounts on Android smartphones with near-field communication technology and passport documents.
The service will be tested out in the Bank of Thailand's regulatory sandbox for two months through November, said Benjarong Suwankiri, head of ME by TMB.
During the trial run, holders of ME savings account opened with e-KYC can deposit money with a cap of 100,000 baht per account and a similar daily transfer cap.
Account owners who want to exceed that 100,000-baht limit during the sandbox period must verify their account at Me Place, the physical branches of ME by TMB, the digital banking do-it-yourself platform.
"Opening an account via smartphone takes only around 10 minutes, compared with 30 minutes at bank branches, excluding travel time," he said.
Some 500 tech-savvy users are expected to start using the new service in October in November, said Mr Benjarong.
In the first phase, customers can open accounts by downloading the "ME by TMB" application from the Google Play Store and use ID issued by the government for authentication.
After downloading the application, customers use their smartphones to scan the back of passport using NFC technology to check personal information.
"Customers are required to fill in the reference numbers on the back of ID cards and the application will request facial recognition and verify the phone holder against photos in the government databases," he said. This procedure is used to prevent fraudulent accounts.
In the next phase, when the National Digital ID (NDID) is launched, people will be able to open new bank accounts using e-KYC and their IDs using from both Android or iOS smartphones.
Customers will be required to fill in telephone numbers (which should be the same number and device that the application is downloaded on) and confirm a one-time-password to set up six-digit PIN.
"ME Savings was set up to serve the challenge of growing digital banking to help banks to offer customised products to a wider range of customers with low costs, as well as to build relationships and sell more products on the digital platform," said Mr Benjarong.
ME Savings' customers prefer to use digital channels to visit tellers at branches and have migrated from computers to smartphones over the last two years.
He said mobile banking transactions are growing rapidly.
According to central bank data, the number of mobile banking users surged 10% from the end of 2017 at 31.6 million to 34.5 million at the end of March, while mobile banking transactions surged 17% from 152 million transactions at the end of last year to 179 million transactions at the end of March.
In 2017, a mere 5% of ME transactions were made at ME Place.
There are 340,000 ME Savings accounts and the bank expects the number to reach 360,000 accounts this year.