Thana Thienachariya, executive chairman of Digital Ventures.
Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has invested an undisclosed sum in Ripple, a San Francisco-based provider of financial settlement solutions, seeking to be the first Thai bank that invests in feasibility study and testing of enterprise-grade blockchain technolo
The investment was made through its FinTech subsidiary Digital Ventures.
“Blockchain is an exciting, emerging financial technology that is slated to transform the world of financial services and online transactions - a disruptive technology in the digital age,” said Thana Thienachariya, executive chairman of Digital Ventures. “Through an investment in and pilot programme with Ripple, SCB can explore the opportunity in utilising blockchain to develop new products and services to better serve customers. This makes SCB the first bank in Thailand to pilot international money transfer services using Ripple’s blockchain solutions, with due diligence, conducted by Digital Ventures, whose mission is to seek new investment and development of innovative FinTech to elevate SCB’s customer service quality.”
He added that the blockchain network is commercially viable and get approval from Thai financial regulatory authority in the future, the knowledge base gained from this investment can be integrated to the bank's system, and will bring a significant improvement in the quality of SCB’s international money transfer services through fast, convenient, cost-saving and secure world-class online transaction platform.
Digital Ventures participated in Ripple’s Series B fundraising round, in which the blockchain company raised US$55 million in August 2016. Notable investors in Ripple to date include Accenture, Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, IDG Capital Partners, Santander InnoVentures, and Seagate.
Currently, Ripple’s global network includes several top global banks such as Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Westpac, National Australia Bank (NAB), Mizuho Financial Group (MHFG), BMO Financial Group and Shanghai Huarui Bank, who have implemented blockchain technology for their cross-border payment transactions.
“This partnership marks a major step forward for SCB, driven by Digital Ventures, to build the most comprehensive FinTech Ecosystem in Thailand. As blockchain technology is still new and not widespread in Thailand, we also see opportunity to work closely with Ripple to educate Thai people and businesses on this technology and help raise awareness on its importance and potential to be adopted in a wide variety of service transactions, both in financial and non-financial service industries,” said Thana.