KASIKORNBANK (KBank) is pressing ahead to become the Regional Digital Bank of the new era in AEC+3. Guided by the strategy of leveraging its key strengths – customer relations, partnerships and technologies – the Bank is determined to deliver services accessible to local users through deployment of “challenger bank” technology. Aiming to invest more than 2.7 billion Baht to fortify its service network within the region, KBank has announced its commitment to broadening its presence in the Vietnamese market in order to serve customers across all segments with digital services. The Bank has set targets of loans amounting to 20 billion Baht and a retail customer base of 1.2 million by 2023.
Riding the wave of post–COVID economic recovery, KBank is gearing up to become the Regional Digital Bank of the new era
Ms. Kattiya Indaravijaya, KBank Chief Executive Officer, noted that bright prospects lie ahead for the ASEAN economy in the post-COVID era. Aside from a recovering economy, ASEAN is known for its large marketplace with a growing share of young people – the main driver for its economic expansion. Moreover, the bloc’s economy is set to see exponential growth as more and more consumers lead a digital life. Against this backdrop, KBank has set its sights on expanding our services within the region in a bid to provide greater opportunity for Thai businesses while delivering a positive customer experience to local retail and business clients, ensuring that they will gain improved access to transactional banking and loan services for broader service coverage.
Investment of 2.7 billion Baht to fortify the status of the Regional Digital Bank of the new era with the disruptive DNA of a ‘challenger bank’
Ms. Kattiya said that, guided by our regional bank business plan, KBank will focus on development of technologies and manpower, investment in startups and business acquisition in key strategic areas during the next three years. Within a budget of 2.7 billion Baht, KBank will work towards building business networks embedded with the DNA of a ‘challenger bank’ to deliver services on digital platforms to local users with high agility, while aiming to become the Regional Digital Bank of the new era
Synergy of three strengths: customer relations-partnerships-technologies
KBank has employed the Asset-Light Digital Banking Strategy to expand its businesses in the AEC+3 market, emphasizing the business partnership format. Through investment in and cooperation with local technology companies and startup businesses, KBank has achieved satisfactory progress in terms of networks and service technologies that are more responsive to users’ requirements. Key strategies that have led KBank’s operations consist of: (1) ‘Aggressive Play’ in lending to corporate customers, including investors and local business operators; (2) ‘Mass Acquisition Play’ in expanding the customer base via cooperation with business partners with focus on provision of transactional banking services via digital channels and achievement of transaction linkage at the regional level as a regional payment platform; and (3) ‘Disruptive Play’ in developing new patterns of financial services, especially digital lending, with the use of alternative data to reach out to the underbanked group, which constitutes a large customer base in the AEC+3 bloc, and stepping forward to become a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) business.
KBank making greater inroads into Vietnam – ASEAN’s most–promising market
Mr. Pipit Aneaknithi, KBank President, said that the Vietnamese economy is poised to record the fastest growth in ASEAN, thanks to its huge potential in attracting investment from around the world. Additionally, Vietnam has emerged unscathed from the COVID-19 crisis, and its public debt is below 60 percent of GDP. Vietnam also exhibits a promising outlook and is set to become a newly industrialized country (NIC) – with high upper middle-income status – by 2030, and a developed country by 2045.
The Vietnamese government has the policy of promoting the country to become a new technology hub for Asia. The country has more than 100 million people, and they are relatively young, with a working-age majority. Its middle-class population has grown significantly in recent years. Domestic consumption is projected to grow at 7 percent over the next three years. Additionally, spending via digital channels is prevalent in Vietnam, as evidenced by the fact that more than 50 percent of its consumers shop online.
Tapping all segments via digital product solutions
Mr. Pipit said further that KBank aims to be the first foreign bank in Vietnam to offer full-fledged ‘digital product solutions’ to all customer segments, including local and international investors, particularly those operating trading, services, basic infrastructure and industrial businesses, as well as retail and small business customers via deposit products, personal loans and payment acceptance systems. As a leader in digital and mobile banking services in Thailand, KBank will use its technological capabilities to improve related services for customers in Vietnam. This will include the use of K PLUS Vietnam as a base for creating a digital lifestyle ecosystem for retail customers nationwide, and the offering of digital lending with the launch of KBank Biz Loan to small merchants. We have focused on a direct approach to customers through our partners and local platforms via the investment of KASIKORN VISION, an investment arm of KBank, as well as the establishment of KBTG Vietnam to support technological development for service provision both in Vietnam and region-wide.
Business model in Vietnam – reinforcing the “Regional Digital Bank of the new era” strategy
Mr. Pipit added that KBank has entered the Vietnamese market with the aim of offering digital services connected to customers through banking channels and partner platforms. The move reinforces the Bank’s strategy of becoming the Regional Digital Bank of the new era. As a ‘challenger bank’ focusing on greater flexibility and using technologies to reach out to consumers, KBank is confident that it will be able to connect banking services to local customers in Vietnam in a broad, convenient, fast and responsive manner. By 2023, the Bank has set a target of 1.2 million Vietnamese retail customers, providing loans of 20,000 billion THB, and to continuously expand new products and services.
Presently, KBank has an overseas service network covering the AEC+3 countries and beyond, for 16 countries in all. The newest overseas branch is in Ho Chi Minh City. Aside from more than 84 financial partners worldwide, the Bank has more than 20 startups in which it has invested and partnerships within the region, as well as a regional customer base of more than 1.85 million people.