Thailand ranks number 1 for mobile banking users worldwide, according to a 2019 report. One of the reasons for this success is Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), which has led digital banking in the country for the past decade. SCB’s latest innovation, developed through its partnership with RippleNet, enables customers to make low-cost cross-border payments instantly from their mobile devices.
“Siam Commercial Bank is more than 100 years old and Thailand’s largest bank with more than 1,000 branches across the country,” said Arthit Sriumporn, SVP of Commercial Banking at SCB. “We serve a wide range of customers, from retail to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and businesses. Our focus is always on enriching the customer experience and RippleNet has helped us do that with transfers. “
Thailand’s oldest bank was once a conservative player in the country’s financial space. With Thai cell phone adoption growing so fast that the country now has more cell phone subscriptions than people, SCB launched an ambitious digital transformation campaign that would change its reputation and the Thai banking landscape.
“First of all, we tempted our customers to use our new mobile app completely free of charge,” recalls Sriumporn. “As people got so used to the convenience of banking on their phones, we increased customer expectations for all of our services. Customers sending money to family members and friends outside of Thailand didn’t like the fact that they still went to a branch, filled out lots of forms, and then waited up to five days for the money to get there. “
Better banking that runs on Ripple
According to the latest estimates, 4.9 million migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia live in Thailand. After valuing the region’s remittance market at $ 68 billion, SCB joined RippleNet to improve on the existing expensive and time-consuming cross-border payment process.
“We developed SCB Easy,” said Sriumporn, “an app that runs on Ripple that enables our customers to send money from their phones to family members and friends overseas. Transfers are real-time, but are still cheaper than that.” Five day process. We used RippleNet to connect to banking partners around the world. This has helped us open more corridors and serve more customers quickly and easily. “
SCB continues to drive innovation with the help of Ripple. With more than 38 million visitors in 2018, Thailand is Southeast Asia’s most popular tourist destination. The bank is now targeting this growing market with an app that allows tourists to pay for goods and services without having to change currency first.
“We are working on a QR code-based app that will allow tourists to use their mobile app for their home country to pay for the QR code in Thailand,” said Sriumporn. “Tourists simply scan the QR code to pay for something instantly without worrying about exchange rates or carrying around large amounts of local currency. There is something new on the market that will change the tourism landscape and make life better. “
Immediate payments to companies
Together with this new app, SCB will drive further growth by opening new cross-border payment corridors via RippleNet, especially for markets outside of Southeast Asia. The aim is also to offer business customers instant cross-border payments this year.
“The experience with instant transfers creates security for our customers,” concluded Sriumporn. “We would like to expand this experience to other markets as well as to our small business and corporate customers. Participating in RippleNet has helped us completely improve our customer experience, grow our business and lead SCB into the future. “