In a country with more mobile phone subscriptions than people, mobile banking has taken off in Thailand in a big way. After partnering with a fintech remittance company recently, Ripple is now sewing up the Thai market by joining forces with its largest commercial bank, SCB.
Ripple to Boost Thai Remittances Further
Hot off the heels of its partnership with DeeMoney that allows more than 1 million Thais to send money home, Ripple is now powering a new cross-border payment app for Thailand’s largest bank Siam Commercial Bank (SCB).
With Thailand heading up the leaderboard when it comes to mobile banking users, SCB’s digital solution has always been popular with customers. Now, using RippleNet tech, customers can send cross-border payments straight from their mobile devices. SCB’s SVP of Commercial Banking, Arthit Sriumporn stated:
Siam Commercial Bank is more than 100 years old and is Thailand’s largest bank with more than 1,000 branches across the nation. We support a wide range of customers from retail to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations. Our focus is always on enriching the customer experience and RippleNet has helped us to do this with remittances.
Thanks to Thai people’s preference for mobile banking over visiting branches, the 100-year-old SCB was forced to digitally innovate over the last decade. This has pushed the bank to the number-one spot in the Thai commercial banking mobile market.
Focused on Sending Money Out of Thailand
While DeeMoney’s main focus currently is on allowing Thais living abroad to send money home faster and cheaper, SCB mainly targets customers sending money outside of Thailand. This is mainly to other countries in Southeast Asia like Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. Sriumporn commented:
When people became so used to the convenience of doing banking from their phones, we raised customer expectations around all of our services. Customers who send money to family and friends outside of Thailand didn’t like that it still involved visiting a branch, filling out lots of forms and then waiting up to five days for the money to get there.
Recent estimates place the number of migrant workers in Thailand at close to 5 million. The need to send money home to their relatives has placed the remittance market at a massive $68 billion. Using RippleNet tech will allow the bank’s customers to send money faster, cheaper, and more conveniently. Sriumporn explained:
We created SCB Easy, an app that runs on Ripple and allows our customers to send money to family and friends abroad from their phones. Transfers happen in real-time but are still cheaper than the five-day process. We’ve used RippleNet to connect to banking partners around the world, which helped us open up more corridors and serve more customers quickly and easily.
Targeting the Growing Tourism Market
SCB is also expanding its sights outside of the remittance market to the growing tourism sector in Thailand. With over 38 million visitors in 2018, the country is by far Southeast Asia’s most popular destination. The bank now wants to provide visitors with an app that lets them pay for goods and services without the hassle of changing currencies first. Sriumporn said:
We’re working on a QR code-based app that enables tourists to use their home country mobile app for Thailand’s QR code payment. Tourists simply scan the QR code to pay for something instantly without dealing with exchange rates or having to carry around large amounts of local currency. It’s something new in the market that will change the tourism landscape and make lives better.
What do you make of Ripple’s rapid Thailand expansion? Add your thoughts below!
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