SCB debuting Robinhood for delivery

SCB debuting Robinhood for delivery

The Robinhood app will waive the gross profit fee to attract users.
The Robinhood app will waive the gross profit fee to attract users.

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is encroaching on the food delivery business, planning to roll out its own platform next month.

To lure customers, the bank's food delivery platform Robinhood will waive the gross profit (GP) fee in an effort to be fair to customers, drivers and restaurants, said chief executive Arthid Nanthawitthaya.

"SCB has no plans to compete with the existing ride-hailing service providers. We want to be an option and build up a customer base gradually. We have not set an initial target," he said.

In the next stage, the bank's financial products including digital lending will be offered on Robinhood to generate income for the food delivery app.

The app will be operated under Purple Ventures, a corporate venture company under SCB Group, and Thai startup Scootar Beyond Ltd, with an investment budget of 100 million baht.

SCB aims to sign up 30,000 eateries on the platform in the first three months after launching and have 50,000 by year-end.

Targeted restaurants are merchants on the bank's mobile banking app, SCB Easy.

Online payment is the only option for Robinhood, with money transferred to eateries within an hour after the order is delivered.

SCB's app roll-out should have no effect on its partnership with Go-Jek, the Indonesian startup unicorn, for ride-hailing service via the Get platform, as the bank does business under the Robinhood platform.

Mr Arthid said separately the bank is studying the "work from anywhere" concept as working from home during the pandemic resulted in staff productivity increases.

Under the work from anywhere approach, the bank plans to remodel 200-300 branches and equip them with more automated systems.

Rungsun Promprasith, chief executive of QueQ, a queue management app, said it is no surprise SCB jumped into this market as it has previously provided a series of services that other startups provided, although they were not successful.

SCB also provided a queue management system, but the service was not popular.

"SCB's zero GP campaign should intensify competition as existing players fight back," said Mr Rungsun.

Several startups will step in to compete while large corporations may join hands with local startups to fight, he said.

"Banks can fund zero GP schemes to reach out to restaurants, getting them to use the bank's Mae Manee app and offering them loans," said Mr Rungsun.

Given the market size, it is likely only three players will survive in the long run, he said.

QueQ recently upgraded its app to cover food delivery and it has over 300 eateries on its platform.

Pinya Nittayakasetwat, chief executive and co-founder of GET app, which offers food deliveries, said the service is playing an important role during the pandemic by providing an income opportunity for merchants and drivers, while addressing user demands.

"We always welcome fresh ideas in the market that enable innovation and promote a higher level of service in the industry," Mr Pinya said.

SCB is an investor in Go-Jek and a strategic partner for Get.

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