By WICHIT CHAITRONG
TMB executives yesterday launched the Me Move account for users of the bank’s mobile banking application that have a registered savings account, marketed as Me Save. This account offers interest rates 4.5 times higher than comparable savings accounts provided by other lenders, the bank claims.
Mingkwan Pattanawong, head of retail marketing of TMB and ME by TMB, said that ME by TMB became a truly digital bank six years ago with the opening of a digital deposit account under a concept that allows self-management of accounts for higher returns.
Benjarong Suwankiri, head of ME by TMB in charge of product and service strategies, said ME Move is a digital purse designed to facilitate daily transactions like money transfers and payments for products or utilities. ME Move’s special feature lies in the intelligent technology “Balance Sweep”, which automatically transfers customers’ balance to their ME Save accounts, Benjarong said. Customers can specify their preferred balance in ME Move accounts and Sweep settings on the daily, weekly and monthly basis. Then, the amount above the set balance levels will be automatically transferred to ME Save, allowing the account holders to earn deposit rates of 1.7 per cent a year or 4.5 per cent of savings rates in general.
“This feature is the first ever to be offered in Thailand,” Benjarong said. “Our goal is to have existing and new customers open 40,000 ME Move accounts by the end of this year.”
Some 330,000 depositors have opened Me Save accounts since TMB launched the initiative six years ago.
“Although the TMB offers higher interest rates, it can save on costs as it does not need to open more bank branches,” Benjarong said.
Most of the depositors are members of the Generation Y and Generation Z age groups.
Benjarong said younger people prefer doing banking with their mobile phones. Those older people who are familiar with mobile banking are expected to like the new product and services, too, he said.
“Our philosophy is to assist savers to have more savings,” he said.
There are about 80 million savings accounts in the banking system as large numbers of depositors have put a combined Bt4.7 trillion into savings accounts with very low interest rates.
According to the Bank of Thailand, savers lose about Bt50 billion a year by placing their cash in savings accounts, Benjarong quoted the central bank as saying.
In April, there were 95.4 million bank accounts in the country, holding Bt12.5 trillion.