BAAC looks to convert gamblers into savers

BAAC looks to convert gamblers into savers

The state-owned Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) aims to use its new savings certificate, which features a no-lose lottery, to encourage 3 million holders of state welfare smartcards to turn their gambling into savings.

The bank's 20-baht-per-ticket savings certificate has a lottery feature that it hopes to use to turn 10 billion baht in cash into savings that would otherwise be lost buying lottery tickets, said executive vice-president Somkiat Kimawaha.

If the bank can compel 3 million of the 14.5 million welfare smartcard holders to shun buying lottery tickets, it will help cultivate a savings habit among low-income earners, Mr Somkiat said.

A BAAC study found that low-income earners spend 600 baht on average per draw, or 1,200 a month, on lottery tickets.

The bank's new prized-linked savings product will be sold through the bank's mobile app starting Aug 18, and via branches and Counter Service nationwide from Aug 19.

New savings certificate holders have a chance to win 2,000 baht a month when they purchase, as well as the first prize of 2 million baht each month throughout the two-year maturity.

Moreover, those who deposit in the new savings certificate for six draws in one year gain entry towards winning two special prizes of gold bullion worth 1 million baht each.

The savings certificate has a four-digit number, and those who deposit 200,000 baht will earn 2,020 baht a month when they invest in the prized-linked savings product, on top of 0.5% interest a year when held to maturity.

Each depositor is required to put at least 20 baht but not exceeding 200,000 baht per draw in the savings certificate. To be eligible to deposit in the savings certificate, interested persons must register to open a savings account with the bank.

Three specialised banks -- BAAC, Government Savings Bank and GH Bank -- are competing to mobilise funds through savings lottery issuance because the cost is lower than for regular savings accounts.

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