The Thai government is seizing the opportunities offered by digital technology to improve the lives of citizens and increase the country’s economic competitiveness regionally and globally. Through the national “Thailand 4.0” strategy which includes major investments in digital infrastructure, big data platform and analytics for education, health and agriculture, as well as initiatives such as the Smart City, the government is spearheading the acceleration of the country’s digital transformation.
In 2017, the Thai government launched the “Broadband Internet Village” program to expand the country’s broadband Internet network throughout the country, allowing Thais living in remote areas to access high-speed or high-speed Internet. Currently, all villages in Thailand can access high-speed internet networks, allowing users to access government e-services as well as e-commerce and e-banking applications.
Thai citizens are one of the most digitally connected and engaged populations in the world
Thai citizens are one of the most connected and digitally engaged populations in the world according to the “Global Digital Report 2021”. The time Thai internet users spend in front of a screen each day is above the global average and is the 9th highest in the world.
Thailand was ranked third in the world for e-commerce adoption and fifth for QR code usage. The country also recorded the highest number of transactions via mobile banking and financial transaction apps in 2020, which could be partly attributed to the government’s digital co-payment system which is part of a relief program for the people affected by the pandemic.
This in turn has put increased pressure on Thailand’s financial sector to be digitally ready to meet customer demand and needs, but also to put in place a robust infrastructure with a strong data strategy. to respond to this request. The traditional banking model has declined significantly over the years due to changing consumer behavior in the digital age and financial institutions, due to their legacy infrastructure and risk aversion, may not have not been as fast as other sectors to digitize. The COVID-19 outbreak has been a key factor in changing the banking business landscape.
Outdated technology as well as numerous structured and unstructured datasets meant limited scalability and limitations on advanced data analytics, which could leave banks behind in identifying market opportunities and understanding customer needs. But in Thailand, many of its major banks have already embarked on a multi-year transformation process to realize their full potential and take advantage of the opportunities of digitalization.
Thailand’s maturity in the digital space portends a prosperous future for digital banking
Thailand’s digital infrastructure also gives the country a significant advantage over other Asia-Pacific countries, with an extremely high number of smartphone owners and internet usage. These factors show Thailand’s maturity in the digital space and point to a prosperous future for the digital banking industry as a whole.
The Bank of Thailand has a three-year strategic plan (2020-2022) on the theme “The Central Bank in a Changing World”. Their goal is to “navigate the Bank of Thailand’s operations in a rapidly changing environment and build the resilience of Thailand’s financial and economic system to meet future challenges as well as help promote inclusive and sustainable growth in the economy.” ‘Thai economy’.
One of Thailand’s biggest banking transformations is the reorganization of Siam Commercial Bank to become SCBX – transforming itself beyond being a traditional financial institution into a competitive fintech group. For more than 5 years, they have transformed the technological architecture of the bank and also created several technology-focused start-ups as part of the SCB transformation project. Their successes include SCB 10X, which received $400 million in technology investments, and Purple Ventures’ “Robinhood,” a food delivery app that now has more than 2 million users and is growing in non-food services.
Thailand’s banking and financial services landscape has undergone a period of major transformation over the past few years, with more changes, many of which have been caused by the pandemic, in the past two years than in the previous decade. .
Bangkok Bank is accelerating its digital banking strategy with the continued expansion of services to support digital lifestyles. Recently, the bank joined Counter Service Co. Ltd to add identity verification channels to open savings accounts through the “Be My ID” service in over 13,000 7-Eleven stores nationwide to to meet the growing demand for transactions via digital channels, while increasing access to government relief measures and support for Covid-19 control measures.
Krung Thai Bank developed a platform and acted as a rights protector for the “Rao Mai Ting Kan” which translates to the “No One Will Be Left Behind” program, a project providing assistance to 15.3 million Thais during COVID. The bank is also part of a campaign that has generated cash flow into the economy of up to 20 billion baht. He played a key role in the “Khon La Khrueng” program, which means “Let’s Go Halves”, which helped local economic recovery, and also helped educate people on the use of technology ( improving digital literacy) through the bank’s applications. , “Pao Tang” and “Thung Ngern”. Thanks to its support for various government programs, the bank can currently serve up to 40 million users.
The bank is keen to innovate and develop digital financial products and services in line with the rapid changes in customer behavior to increase its competitiveness. In particular, the new Krungthai NEXT app has been developed with world-class technology and includes features that can support future financial activities. Pao Tang, an open banking app, can support digital services such as healthcare through the health wallet and Thailand’s first digital bond exchange through the SBM wallet.
Thai banks are constantly strategizing on how to use digitization to make better use of their data
Banks are in a unique position in that their data can tell customers and partners the most important information sellers want to know: Can the customer pay? This is extremely valuable and combined with the rest of the information banks hold about customers, such as their demographics, spending habits and preferences, it becomes even more valuable. Combine it with additional data from third-party systems, partners, and public sources and it becomes even more valuable. All of this data combined can be used to gain additional customer insights and insights, which in turn is even more valuable.
Banks will increasingly rely on data to understand the customer journey and identify market trends. The banking sector is moving towards a more collaborative and open market, focused on data protection and risk minimization. Banks need to work on a strategy establishing strong foundations in data processes and customer experience, and this is where digitization and advanced technologies such as AI, ML, cloud and blockchain will be essential .
The banking and finance industry is about to evolve into something completely different from what it was traditionally known for in the past. In the digital and connected age, a detailed and automated understanding of every customer, action and service will become the essential requirement for remaining a value-driven organization. And the Thai banking system already seems to have understood this very well.
OpenGov Asia is Hosting an Invitation-Only Breakfast Session with Splunk – “Driving the Future of Thai Financial Institutions Through Data”. Click here for more information.