Monday, September 28, 2020

Pandemic gives impetus to online banking

Aug 05. 2020
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By The Nation

Commercial bank have said that the Covid-19 outbreak will make more customers opt for online services.

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) saw 900,000 customers opt for online banking, while the number of online accounts jumped by 83 per cent, with the number of online customers expected to reach 13 million by the year-end.

Krungsri revealed that its app usage had jumped 41 per cent, while account opening had surged 410 per cent, showing all banks encountering additional challenges and faced with the need to accelerate the promotion of mobile-production to attract customers online.

SCB president Arak Sutivong said that in the past 2-3 years, the bank had seen a shift in customers who have increasingly migrated to digital channels, especially with financial transactions via mobile banking while the advent of a new species of coronavirus, or Covid-19, has become a catalyst for faster change in consumer behaviour.

He expected more focus on mobile banking when the Covid-19 pandemic is fully contained. The SCB Easy App downloads is expected to increase to 13 million from 11.3 million users in the first half of the year, accounting for about 70 per cent of the total 16 million SCB customers.

This year, the bank has 898,000 new customers with a 71 per cent active user ratio. In addition, online account opening has grown by over 83 per cent. Digital loan applications via digital lending SCB Easy also increased with an increase of approximately 41 per cent.

Meanwhile, Rottapron Ekabutr, senior executive of Krungsri Bank, said that the number of transactions via the bank's mobile banking channel KMA saw a big leap after the Covid-19 crisis. The number of KMA users has increased by 35 per cent and the number of active accounts or continuous transactions increased by 50 per cent compared to the same period last year.

PromptPay transactions via KMA showed a 200 per cent growth over the previous year. Likewise, the amount of online savings accounts opened throughNational Digital ID authentication and Krungsri i-Confirm service has seen high growth. The number of accounts opened has seen a 410 per cent growth compared to the first quarter of the year, while the total amount of financial transactions in the second quarter was 740 million items with a total value of over Bt302 billion.

"When looking at past financial transactions, both money transfers, PromptPay, and non-ATM money withdrawals the Covid-19 crisis is the accelerator that makes every transaction grow online. For example, money transfers grew by 80 per cent, payments for administrative goods grew by 21 per cent, additional top-ups 24 per cent and cardless ATM up to 2.7 million times, or an increase of approximately 37 per cent from the same period last year," said Rottapron.

However, he believes that these changes in consumer behaviour will accelerate Thailand's progress to a cashless society. Therefore, it is a challenge for all banks to accelerate and develop mobile apps to suit the new lifestyle along with system security. The banks must accelerate the development of the business model to be able to present new products and services that meet the needs of customers, he said.

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