Bank of Ayudhya, commonly referred to as Krungsri, has won Best Savings Plan Offering at the RBI APAC Awards 2022 for its pure digital bank which comes with fun savings jarson the mobile app, budgeting tools, easy remote account opening, winning it the Best On-boarding Program category, and many other tools for the digitally savvy young customers it is aimed at.
Kept digitizes all the traditional banking activities (account opening/transactions) and services (inquiry/ account maintenance) to empower customers to manage their money online on a mobile app.
Secure validation and compliance are all via the Kept application with no physical branches. It is a pure play digital bank that enables Thai customers to complete the on-boarding process purely online from anywhere in five minutes with no paperwork to sign. Users can automate their savings with a frictionless customer experience (CX) thanks to clear design and ‘gamification’ techniques that use savings jars and so on to make saving simple.
Kept was rolled out in July 2020 and immediately boosted the number of new-to-bank millennial customers and grew online deposit balances significantly. It was enhanced in July 2021 with a new Together’ savings product that has attracted further strong uptake.
Together inspires multiple purpose group savings. It is a solely owned saving account but with joint account like features – indeed multiple participants can join the gamified savings fun. It comes with a ‘Money Manager’ tool to open multiple Together accounts for different groups of members with different purposes.
The owner can invite/remove members, set up saving goals, view transactions, and deposit/withdraw money from the accounts. Once the owner invites members to a specific Together account, those new members can then co-view balances and transaction data, can deposit money but not withdraw it, and so on. They get notified when owners take out money, so are fully informed about the joint savings efforts of the group, including with encouraging alerts and updates to encourage the saving habit.
There are now four distinctive savings accounts under the concept of one mobile wallet. The over- arching Kept account is for spending, controlling, and budgeting allocations, while three savings jars cover:
The aforementioned Together is a joint savings pot, while Fun pots can be used online. The Grow account combines the benefits of high liquidity from a traditional savings account with the high-interest rate from a time deposit account into one product.
This means that the rate is locked for two years inspiring customers to save money longer, while they still enjoy the flexibility of being able to withdraw money without conditions or penalties. It is possible thanks to the lower operational cost of servicing and opening digital accounts. The latter is 67% cheaper compared to in-branch openings. The Kept digital bank comes with automated saving features that automatically sweep money from low interest to higher interest jars every day (Kept savings and Grow jars). This optimizes and ‘sweats’ cash like a corporate treasurer would and is innovative in the Thai retail banking sector.
Data analytics are crucial to feeding budgeting tools and indeed the whole Kept offering, as they improve CX, personalization, and deliver seamless, fast services. All customer activities are tagged and stored with automatic scripts to analyze customer drop-off points, improve on-boarding and navigation journeys, provide help in real-time, and launch direct marketing campaigns to win back prospects.
Customers can open an account with just their faces using biometric identity (ID) verification for e-KYC (know your customer) authentication. There is a simple, speedy, and paperless self-serve on-boarding experience, which is described in Bank of Ayudhya’s other award-winning entry about its over-arching upgraded Krungsri Mobile Application (KMA) which links into the bank’s other channels and activities and can be joined via in-branch i-Confirm service points.
The pure play standalone digital bank that is Kept does not have branch options for the non-technologically minded. It is a different, bespoke offering for the young tech-savvy millennials that are its core target audience. The more advanced National Digital ID infrastructure (NDID) scheme in Thailand is the preferred joining methodology.
This is a blockchain authentication service run under the auspices of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) and it effectively provides a nationwide ID scheme that all banks can tap into to meet their own authentication needs and regulatory obligations. Kept customers can open their first digital account on a mobile smartphone in five minutes.
Kept users have their own 24x7 live chat help function on the mobile app, website, and social media platforms to reinforce the distinctive branding and unique nature of the pure play digital bank.
Customers can change their mobile device with convenience and security from the application using the biometric ID verification service.
A referral reward program is also accessible on the app, reinforcing the frictionless CX. Cash rewards are deposited into user accounts in less than 15 minutes when they get a friend, work colleague or family member to join, with automatic notification via a dashboard of any successful referrals.
Kept has been a success, outperforming Krungsri’s expectations with 150% sign-up numbers gained over and above what was forecast upon launch in July 2020. Target balances were 500% above and beyond what was expected. The later additions of Together savings in 2021, improved on-boarding and other upgrades after the initial unveiling, mean that the customer base had again doubled by December 2021.
Krungsri has also learned a number of valuable lessons that can be applied elsewhere in its bank thanks to the pure digital bank rollout, improved its branding, young customer base and productivity, with fewer defects evident thanks to agile development methodologies and faster time to market for new products. Kept points the way towards the future of banking. It’s a keeper.