Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has been commended for the Best Remittances Initiative at the virtual Retail Banker International (RBI): Asia Trailblazer Awards 2021 for the way it has adopted and used RippleNet blockchain technology. It also received a Highly Commended (HC) trophy in the  Best Retail Bank in Thailand category.

Thailand is known for having high friction costs for remittance transactions. On average the transfer fee is 400 baht (THB) with a high percentage fee of transfer values quite common. This creates a barrier for low value transfers, so people tend to use cards to make international payments.

SCB wanted to change this, so the bank created a cheaper, faster and easier remittance service using RippleNet, a blockchain that many other finanical instiutions (FIs) use as it can act as a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system, currency exchange, and remittance network. The bank also partnered with lots of global payment partners, such as Azimo, Tranglo, BKK Forex, CambridgeFX and WorldCom Finance to span the globe and offer access points to easily and effectively process cross-border payments. Benefits include:

  • Real-time automated self-service operation
  • 24/7 seamless fast service, enhancing customer experience (CX)
  • Constant traceability of the transaction
  • Cheaper cost.

The new service has achieved 3x revenue growth, comparing 2019 v 2020. The first Ripple remittance service was introduced with a partner in Japan in 2017, so adhering to the Bank of Thailand (BoT) central bank’s regulations for this Thai iteration, was relatively straighforward, especially as a sandbox exercise was carried out by SCB in 2020 prior to launch. There are two SCB services, covering inboud and outbound.

  • Ripple inbound remittance service: Customers can send money from abroad to Thailand via partner channels and the platform using ATMs, internet portals, mobile applications and so on. Currently there are 12 partners from seven countries, spanning Japan, Korea, UK, Canada, Israel, Singapore and Sweden. More are being added all the time. Funds are directly settled to bank accounts at SCB or other banks via PromptPay services. This is Thailand’s national real-time payment (RTP) infrastructure and mobile payment application, which is operated by National ITMX Ltd on VocaLink systems to help transform Thailand toward a digital economy, in-line with the government’s wishes.
  • Ripple outbound remittance service: Customers can send money in four currencies across 12 countries. All they need to do is download the SCB Easy mobile banking application and choose International transfer. The FX exchange will be available with auto conversion for customers to acknowledge upfront and there is no need to submit any documentation. Once the transaction is processed and the beneficiary receives the money, notifications will be given.

HC: Best Retail Bank in Thailand
SCB’s other commendation was in the Retail Bank category for its ‘Stand By You’ project and stance during the Covid-19 pandemic when it fast-tracked seamless omnichannel end-to-end digital services to clients across all segments, further accelerating its pre-existing digital drive. It delivered:

  • Personal Financial Management (PFM) tools: The ‘Just For You’ functionality gives personalized insights on savings, spending and investment tips, plus transaction reminders are provided to existing customers, all via the Easy App. Insights are generated by using artifical intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Big Data to predict relevant content. From May 2020 to April 2021 ‘Just For You’ engaged over 75 million clicks with 9.8 million customers. The cross-sell conversion rate was around 5-7%. The Easy Bonus reward program tool and associated individually targeted campaign engine instantly rewarded customers after a pre-set was reached. From May 2020 to April 2021, the number of users reached 6.5 million.
  • Easy App SCB One loans & Deejung credit line: The Easy app has been put to many different uses. SCB One personal loans, mortgages, car credit, equity and enterprise loans are all accessible by it in three minutes and three clicks for existing customers. No extra documents are required as ML and data analytics are used to deliver risk-based prices and offerings. Four million applications generated 332,000 loans with a value of THB25 bn.
    The Deejung product allows credit cardholders to turn underutilized credit into a lump sum cash payment, with flexible terms depending on the client, or to pay for goods over the longer-term via a Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) function.

The Easy App has also been used during the Covid-19 outbreak to let customers access online doctor appointments, self-diagnosis tools, and to get loan relief measures easily, plus for Covid insurance.

  • Personalized payroll solutions: Salaried customers can access a personal loan via an online portal on the Easy App, or use the Chatbot on the SCB branded Line Connect messaging application tool.
  • Manee branded suite for SMEs: Small-to-medium sized enterprises can access fee-free transaction handling capabilities, an enhanced savings option, QR code initiated digital payment compatibility, and an online business advice tool and booster network. The Manee Tunjai Business Loans offering has already delivered 250,000 prequalified enterpreneurs to the retail bank and a loan value of THB2.5 billion.

-----------

The Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards is an annual platform that celebrates the best in class retail banking institutions and individuals for their innovative service offering and commitment to customer excellence.

If you would like to share your incredible consumer finance journey, then register for the 13th Annual Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards 2022 and submit your entry!