By Sucheera Pinijparakarn
Siam Commercial Bank has made an arrangement with FamilyMart convenience stores to cash in on the explosive growth in bill payments through non-bank channels.
Meanwhile Thanachart Bank in cooperation with three partners has launched the country’s first virtual prepaid credit card to facilitate e-commerce transactions.
Trirong Butragaht, SCB executive vice president and head of global transaction services, said yesterday that non-bank bill payments enjoyed growth of 10-15 per cent against 5 per cent for the bank channel. The bank sees 2 million bill payments per month, lower than the retailer channel.
The major retail players are Counter Service Company and Tesco Lotus. Convenience stores are doing a good business in accepting bill payments because they are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlike bank branches, he said.
FamilyMart will offer a comprehensive bill-payment service at more than 900 locations nationwide.
The chain plans to increase the services available at its branches. Bill payments will help build traffic at the stores while earning fee income for the bank. Retailers account for 60 per cent of total bill-payment volume, and this share is expected to continue increasing every year.
The transaction fee charged by FamilyMart is Bt10-Bt20, in line with the market.
SCB targets 12,000-13,000 bill payments per month through FamilyMart and 10 per cent of the bill-payment market via retail shops within three years.
The bank is considering linking to more partners for bill payments.
Nat Wongpanich, chief executive of Central FamilyMart Co, said customers could now make payments for a very wide variety of bills conveniently at any time at FamilyMarts displaying the SCB bill-payment logo.
The company plans to have 1,000 stores this year and 3,000 by 2017.
Meanwhile TBank is linking with MasterCard Worldwide, Advanced Info Service and 2C2P (Thailand), a provider of security technology for online payments, to offer an e-payment application for mobile phones.
Jean-Marc Dallaire, senior vice president for credit card and payment services at TBank, explained that even though e-commerce was growing rapidly, some customers, especially young people, were unable to purchase goods online because they cannot get credit cards. Customers can download the mPay app on to their mobiles and activate “AIS mPay MasterCard” to get a 16-digit virtual-card number and three-digit security code, along with an expiration date. Customers can reload cash at AIS branches before doing online transactions.
TBank expects about 100,000 of the existing 700,000 mPay customers to register for the service.
The bank hopes that young people taking advantage of this service will become long-term customers.