Superrich responds digitally to growing travel card threat
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Superrich responds digitally to growing travel card threat

Despite growth in foreign arrivals, Superrich Currency Exchange (1995) Co, a leading local money changer, recorded zero growth in transactions during the first four months of this year, primarily attributed to competition from travel card services.

During the period, the company recorded foreign exchange transactions of 32 billion baht, averaging 8 billion per month, representing flat growth year-on-year.

This transaction volume aligns with the company's 2024 business targets, said Piya Tantivachyanon, president and chief executive of Superrich, which is also known as the SuperRich Orange brand.

"Although tourism improved in terms of both outbound and inbound travellers, many people have shifted to using travel cards," he said.

"Consequently, as Superrich's business largely relies on cash-based transactions, the company anticipates a lower net profit of around 100 million baht for 2024, down from more than 200 million annually in recent years."

Mr Piya said the company held discussions with the Bank of Thailand about expanding its business into travel card services, but was denied approval based on regulations.

Travel cards are accepted at banks, but not money changers. The cards are defined as a debit card service.

Travel cardholders can conduct foreign exchange transactions via digital platforms, another advantage for this service, he said.

Superrich received an e-wallet licence from the central bank at the beginning of this year.

The company is testing its digital system and plans to launch its new e-wallet service in the third or fourth quarter of 2024, Mr Piya said.

With the e-wallet service, cardholders can purchase foreign currencies at Superrich outlets via QR codes, which are generated within the PromptPay infrastructure. The company also offers this service via cash cards.

"The market is shifting towards digital services and a cashless society. The company needs to adjust its business operations to align with the digital era," he said.

Superrich invested around 100 million baht in digital technology over the past few years to support its digital services.

The company also plans to decelerate its network expansion, which consists of 34 outlets at present, said Mr Piya.

According to YouTrip, Southeast Asia's leading multi-currency digital payments platform, it has processed total payments of US$10 billion via its YouTrip travel card since launching the service in Singapore in 2018.

The company reported 180% growth in payments and profitability in 2023 compared with the previous year.

The YouTrip card, an e-wallet debit card, offers foreign exchange services to both individuals and businesses.

The company partnered with Kasikornbank to launch the YouTrip travel card in Thailand in 2019, and has since expanded to other regional markets.

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