CIMBT, Sabuy tie up to offer cross-border transfers

CIMBT, Sabuy tie up to offer cross-border transfers

CIMB Thai Bank (CIMBT) has joined forces with MAI-listed Sabuy Technology Co to jointly develop an ecosystem platform for cash management and money transfers domestically and regionally.

The partnership aims to offer cross-border money transfers by the second quarter, said Paisan Thumpothong, head of transaction banking at CIMBT.

Under the collaboration, CIMBT will provide a cash management service. CIMBT, 94.8% owned by Malaysia-based CIMB Group, offers an international remittance service under its own platform, SpeedSend, which was developed by CIMB Group.

In Sabuy's case, the company developed its own digital payment platform for several services after receiving four business licences from the Bank of Thailand. These services include top-up machines, vending machines, food court payment system management, a point-of-sale service and e-wallets.

Sabuy has 54,000 top-up machines nationwide, 6,000 vending machines in 26 provinces and a payment system solution located in 200 food courts.

Sabuy is also a banking agency serving local fund transfer for three commercial banks: Bangkok Bank, Bank of Ayudhya and CIMBT.

The two businesses target cross- border transfers for regional markets, mainly covering three customer segments: foreign workers, cross-border vendors and offshore tourists.

The collaboration aims to reduce operational costs significantly, which will enable the platform to offer lower service fees for customers with a smaller ticket size of money transfer per transaction.

According to Mr Paisan, CIMBT charges a minimum of 150 baht per transaction for cross-border fund transfers via the SpeedSend platform compared with a market rate of 500-1,000 baht on average. However, total transactions are still small, standing at around 5,000 transactions per month largely derived from the Malaysian and Filipino markets.

Partnering with Sabuy will help increase the number of transactions and expansion into new customer segments, he said.

Sabuy chief executive Chookiat Rujanapornpajee said the company plans to expand its business to remote areas across the country, offering greater convenience and lower fees for customers in line with the central bank's financial inclusion policy.

The company has been developing new services and innovative machines, as well as building up a digital ecosystem in response to the requirements of customers locally and internationally.

"With digital technology development and collaboration with CIMBT's SpeedSend platform, we can offer cross-border fund transfer at a smaller ticket size of at least 1,000 baht per transaction with a lower fee," according to Mr Chookiat.

In 2020, the company posted 50% year-on-year growth for local transactions of fund transfers. Meanwhile, the growth rate is expected to be higher this year once it begins offering international remittances in the second quarter.

Sabuy is expecting to be able to reduce its operational costs by around 30% through its collaboration with CIMBT.

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