Thailand Post adds rural finance options
E-KYC and kiosks to supplement services
Thailand Post is seeking to expand financial services through electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC) and self-service kiosks to serve customers in rural areas with no bank branches, competing with 7-Eleven convenience stores.
"We have seen a rise in demand for bank services at our 1,200 branches nationwide, serving consumers who may not be able to go to bank branches or whose branches closed because of digital disruption," said Smorn Terdthumpiboon, president of Thailand Post.
The company has been expanding banking agent services for deposits since 2011 through six bank partners and in August 2018 expanded its cooperation to four other banks -- Kiatnakin Bank, Kasikornbank, Siam Commercial Bank and Krungthai Bank.
Thailand Post has 10 bank partners and is in discussions with Bangkok Bank to partner.
Thailand Post expects 700 million baht worth of transactions in the first three months of 2019. Over the period, the number of transactions went from over 10,000 per month to 40,000-50,000 transactions.
By the second quarter this year, Thailand Post will offer withdrawal services, allowing bank customers to use their national ID cards and mobile bank applications to withdraw money at post offices. For those who don't use mobile applications, they can use their ATM card with a national ID to withdraw.
Thailand Post is considering using an e-KYC kiosk as a self-service counter for future financial services, particularly for personal loans and opening new bank accounts.
"While many customers use mobile applications, there are still opportunities for those who don't want to use mobile banking," Mrs Smorn said. "Thailand Post has delivery services for individual users and online merchants to use at branches, making it a one-stop service for customers."
Wallet@Post is an e-wallet application for cash-on-delivery to collect money from online shoppers and transfer money through an e-wallet for merchants, a service that has nearly 1 million transactions so far.
Thailand Post also offers payment services for traffic fines and M-Pass expressway top-ups.
The company has 1,200 branches countrywide, 80% outside major cities.
To stimulate use, the company reduced deposit fees to a flat rate of five baht per transaction from 10-25 baht (depending on the bank), with a maximum deposit of 20,000-50,000 baht per transaction. Last year Thailand Post's financial service revenue including payments comprised 7% of the total, with 10% the goal for 2019.