KBank benefits from challenger bank initiative
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KBank benefits from challenger bank initiative

Ms Kattiya says KBank is committed to being the country's preferred digital bank by focusing on innovation and investment in the proper technologies.
Ms Kattiya says KBank is committed to being the country's preferred digital bank by focusing on innovation and investment in the proper technologies.

Kasikornbank (KBank) reports surging usage of its digital platforms six months after launching its "challenger bank" programme to enable more people to engage with its services and products, simplifying banking through the use of advanced technology.

KBank chief executive Kattiya Indaravijaya said last year an additional 2 million people became users of its K Plus online banking application.

She said the rising popularity of the bank's digital platforms made KBank a "truly digital bank", with 98% of its transactions conducted online. As a result, KBank recorded more money transferred via its K Plus app than all its other channels combined.

"We can clearly see our technology is helping more people to benefit from banking. The number of online transactions has increased, with a million more transactions conducted every hour. That adds up to a stunning 11 billion more transactions during 2022 than in the previous year," Ms Kattiya said.

The amount of money transacted on K Plus also grew rapidly, tallying almost 10 trillion baht in 2022.

In addition, she said KBank is upgrading its security features for K Plus and improving its ability to detect and prevent unusual transactions, while keeping the app convenient for all users.

The bank supports small enterprises conducting business internationally by offering lower banking costs, said Ms Kattiya.

KBank is the only bank in Thailand with no intermediary bank fee for international transfers to 32 partner countries via its online banking platform.

KBank also reported strong growth through Line BK, a partnership with Line to offer banking products through social media.

In 2022, Line BK added more than 1.4 million new users and extended more than 18 billion baht in loans, most of which went to people without a fixed income or salary, such as freelancers and other small business operators.

Line BK is using an artificial intelligence system for intelligent data analysis, and other non-traditional data, such as behavioural data sourced from the Line ecosystem (with the applicant's permission), to evaluate customers' ability and willingness to repay.

In July last year, KBank announced its challenger bank goals, aiming to boost access to loans and services among Thailand's population of roughly 30 million unbanked and underbanked people.

Challenger banks have been a disruptive phenomenon in many countries. They challenge legacy banks by using new technology to help micro-businesses and the self-employed, who may have no collateral assets or regular income, obtain a fairer evaluation of their ability and intention to repay when applying for loans.

Challenger banks also appeal to traditional bank customers by eliminating inconvenient processes and providing services that are faster and available everywhere.

KBank is accelerating its investments in technology, with 22 billion baht allocated for 2022-24, she said.

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