Ms. Kattiya Indaravijaya, Chief Executive Officer, KASIKORNBANK, said, “During 2022, two million more people chose to become new users of our K PLUS online banking app, with more than a million of them also new to our bank. This growth in the popularity of our digital platforms has made us a truly digital bank with 98% of all KBank’s transactions now being conducted online.”
She said that as a result of the growth, for the first time, KBank recorded more money transferred over its K PLUS digital banking app than all other channels combined, including its physical branches, e-Machines, and Banking Agents.
“We can clearly see that our technology is helping more people to benefit from banking. The number of online transactions has increased with a million more transactions being conducted every hour. That adds up to a stunning 11 billion more transactions during 2022 than in the previous year,” she said.
The amount of money being transacted on K PLUS has also grown rapidly and reached almost Baht 10 trillion during 2022.
The growth has widened KBank’s lead as Thailand’s most preferred digital bank.
Ms. Indaravijaya said, “This places huge responsibility on us to stay at the forefront of technology to ensure that users get access to banking products and services like never before, and, of course, with outstanding system stability, because our vision extends beyond Thailand and our goal is to be the leader in providing digital banking services, regionally.”
She said that KBank is supporting small enterprises to do business internationally through lower banking costs and is the only bank in Thailand with no intermediary bank fee for international transfers to 32 partner countries via its online banking platform.”
In addition, she said that KBank is further advancing security features for K PLUS as well as increasing its ability to detect and prevent unusual transactions while at the same time remaining convenient for all users.
KBank also reported strong growth with LINE BK, which is a partnership with LINE to offer banking products through social media.
During 2022, LINE BK added more than 1,400,000 new users and, at the end of 2022, had more than Baht 18 billion extended in loans, many to people who have no fixed income or salary, such as freelancers and other small business operators.
“People in these professions with no fixed incomes or salary slips often have little or no access to bank loans to carry them through temporary difficulties, and they are sometimes compelled to turn to loan sharks,” Ms. Indaravijaya said.
LINE BK, as the only provider of banking products and services through social media, plays an important role in the fulfilment of KBank’s ‘challenger bank’ goals because it enables KBank to reach many unbanked and underbanked players. Even applicants who have no banking account can apply for a loan through LINE BK and get a decision within 24 hours. The service has proven particularly attractive to freelancers, independent service providers and small stallholders, and is a first step in bringing them into the banking system to build a credit record that can support them in growing their enterprises in the future.
LINE BK is using an AI system for intelligent data analysis as well as other non-traditional data, such as behavioral data sourced from the LINE ecosystem, with the applicant’s permission, to evaluate their ability and willingness to repay.
In July last year, KBank announced the strategic programme that it calls it’s ‘challenger bank’ goals, which aims to boost access to loans and services among Thailand’s approximately 30 million unbanked and underbanked population.
‘Challenger banks’ have been a disruptive phenomenon in many countries ‘challenging’ legacy banks by using new technology to help micro-businesses and the self-employed, who may have no collateral assets or regular income, get a fairer evaluation of their ability and intention to repay when applying for loans. Challenger banks have also appealed to traditional bank customers by eliminating inconvenient processes and providing services that are faster, available everywhere, and always-on.
Ms. Indaravijaya described KBank’s strategy as one of fusing the DNA of a ‘challenger bank’ onto its successful core of being a reliable traditional bank that serves a wide range of customers.
As part of this programme, KBank is accelerating its investments in technology with approximately Baht 22,000 million being invested during 2022 – 2024.