Serving customers in this borderless world, especially the CCLMVI bloc, via physical channels and digital technology; seeking partners to connect to the region and address the demand of the Asia’s new middle class; and planing to seek approval from the authorities to establish up a technology company – KAITAI Technology Company Limited – in Shenzhen to develop technology and innovations to support our cross-border digital services in the region.
Mr. Pipit Aneaknithi, KBank President, noted that as the global economy is facing numerous challenges, KBank holds a strong belief in the potential of Asia – in particular the CCLMVI bloc – that is taking steps to become a key economic driver of the world. In 2019, Asia’s middle class accounted for 57 percent of the global middle class population, a share which is expected to rise to 67 percent by 2030, and this group, or the new middle class, uses technologies in their everyday life.
In addition, Asia has already become a powerhouse of global innovation, as evidenced by the fact that 65 percent of patent registrations in 2017 originated in Asia, while 33 percent of new ‘unicorn’ startups were also in Asia. Therefore, now is a good time for Thai businesses to branch out into the ASEAN+3 markets.
KBank is using the Asset-Light Regional Digital Expansion strategy for regional market expansion, in order to reach out to overseas customers and to provide services in response to customers’ cross-border transactions and business operations. Notable actions include the following:
1) Building service networks and partnerships: KBank’s service networks in the region consist of 14 representative offices, branches and locally incorporated institutions, and 72 regional partner banks. To broaden business opportunities in 2020, KBank expects to establish new branches in Myanmar, Vietnam, and Indonesia while also envisaging new business expansion in China.
2) Technology scouting and matching via KASIKORN VISION Co., Ltd. (KVision) that focuses on seeking startups worldwide by means of partnership, investment and technology acquisition. KVision has five digital labs, in Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Shenzhen and Tel Aviv. With an intense selection of tech partners, there are around 1,000 potential companies that KVision expects to partner with in order to adopt digital technology for KBank’s business operations and customers.
Last year, KBank joined with a government agency to offer an e-Visa service, supporting visa fee payments in 56 currencies via e-wallet and credit card. The service is now available in China, the UK and France, and will be expanded to all countries in which Thai embassies and consulates-general are located. To provide this service, KBank teamed with global and Chinese tech payment partners to provide multi-currency and multi-lingual services as well as multi-payment channels to tourists worldwide in their payment of visa fees to Thailand.
In addition, tourists can access services via the TAGTHAI platform, jointly initiated by KBank and 48 public and other private organizations.
To aid SME entrepreneurs to penetrate overseas markets via e-commerce, KBank joined with Blibli.com (www.Blibli.com), among the top five e-commerce platforms in Indonesia with a population of around 260 million. After its launch in December 2019, more than 200 Thai operators have registered and more than 1,500 items of Thai products are now available on the website. Promotional campaigns and marketing activities are ongoing to promote Thai goods in Indonesia.
With respect to retail customers and small business owners, KBank has developed a new feature of K PLUS to offer outward funds transfer service of up to USD50,000 per transaction per day. There are now six available currencies, which will increase to 14 in 2020. With this service, customers can transfer funds real-time with greater convenience and speed and lower fees.
In addition, recipients get the full amount of funds, while senders get notification upon the transfer. The initiative marks another milestone for cross-border funds transfer. Currently, the number of funds transfer transactions via K PLUS is almost equal to those conducted at bank branches.
Apart from building networks and partnerships, and creating technologies and innovations via KVision, KBank plans to seek approval from the authorities to establish KAITAI Technology Company Limited in an effort to become a Truly Regional Bank. This new company – KAITAI TECH – is located in Shenzhen in the Greater Bay Area, which the Chinese government has an ambitious plan to develop as the Silicon Valley of China.
The area is a hub of new technologies and IT personnel. KAITAI TECH is mainly intended to conduct technological development and innovation creation in support of KASIKORNBANK (CHINA)’s services, digital service provision in the region and adoption of newly developed technologies for the benefit of KBank and Thai customers.
Mr. Pipit added that KBank is ready to create digital service platform to allow Thai people and businesses to step across the borders to capitalize on massive opportunities in the “Era of Asia”. Within this year, KBank aims to build service channels in all countries of the CCLMVI bloc and to expand retail customers’ portfolio in China.