KBank uses digital for Asean retail

KBank uses digital for Asean retail

KBank sees major opportunities in becoming regionally recognised as a digital bank in Southeast Asia. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
KBank sees major opportunities in becoming regionally recognised as a digital bank in Southeast Asia. (Photo by Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)

Kasikornbank (KBank) looks set to use digital banking to make inroads into the regional retail market, tapping higher-yield business.

With digital technology, costs for individual customer acquisition have declined significantly, meaning regional retail banking contributes better yields than regional wholesale banking, said co-president Pipit Aneknithi.

"We plan to offer a full range of retail digital banking services, spanning from deposits and lending to investment products," he said. "The bank will unveil its mobile banking app K Plus in neighbouring markets. This sector represents new S-curve growth."

But available financial services and products in the regional markets will be different from those in Thailand, depending on opportunity, customer demand and each country's development level in terms of financial markets and digital technology, Mr Pipit said.

Partnership is another key strategy for overseas digital banking business, with progress expected in China, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam this year.

KBank will partner with tech startups in mainland China to adopt innovative financial services and serve Chinese retail customers in collaboration with a tech subsidiary, Kaitai Tech, based there.

The formation of additional tech affiliates is in the pipeline, Mr Pipit said.

KBank plans to provide digital currency service in China after the central bank there said it was studying and testing its own digital currency.

KBank is in the process of raising its shareholding in Bank Maspion Indonesia from the current 9.99%. The new shareholding in the Indonesian bank has not been finalised, but KBank has no plans to hold a stake larger than 50%.

Kattiya Indaravijaya, another KBank co-president, said a memorandum of understanding between KBank and Bank Maspion permits the Thai bank to increase its shareholding to 30-40%.

A majority stake in Maspion is not KBank's focus, while the Indonesian bank does not need to mobilise large funding from foreign investors, Ms Kattiya said.

A commitment to long-term investment and collaboration are both banks' key objectives, she said.

Elsewhere, KBank has applied for a foreign bank branch licence from Vietnam's authority to upgrade its representative offices in the country.

KBANK shares closed Friday on the SET at 140.50 baht, down one baht, in trade worth 1.95 billion baht.

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