2022 Winner – SCB Vision of a tech-driven green future wins three trophies – Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards



Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) won Best Retail Bank: Thailand at the RBI APAC Awards 2022 for numerous innovations, such as an electronic e-KYC (know your customer) solution with facial recognition that enables digital verification and processing, and the Best Debit Card Initiative for a card benefit scheme. A Best Loan Offering trophy was gained for its connected green loans for vehicles, homes, and businesses.

The debit card trophy was awarded by the judges for the Let’s SCB launch aimed at students, freelancers or others typically excluded from credit cards. It comes with personalized benefits like vouchers from food deliverers or birthday bonuses in shops, restaurants, or entertainment venues, which is controlled by the mobile SCB Easy app or SCB Connect messaging option.

Designed to encourage more usage and attract new customers, the Let’s SCB debit card also rewards users and encourages Point-of-Sale (PoS) or online transactions, contactless and other debit card uses that aren’t typically popular in Thailand. Credit cards are often used instead for these activities, with cash withdrawal from ATMs reserved for perceptions of what a debit card is for. The new launch has changed this perception and delivered:

  • A monthly spending volume uplift of almost 10% per card year-on-year (YoY), with online spending zooming ahead by 30%.
  • Customer acquisition has advanced too in the typically young target audience, with sign-ups via digital channels rising by 400% thanks to the excitement built about this card’s ‘Let’s Eat, Let’s Shop, and Let’s Play’ marketing campaign.

Best bank: Innovations attract customers
The Best Retail Bank: Thailand crown was for SCB’s e-KYC facial recognition bank account opening offering, among others, which has already attracted 300,000 people and will reach 32,000 locations and ATMs by 2024. But its WeMahidol digital learning and lifestyle app for students (at Mahidol) was one of many tools responsible for the win.

The WeMahidol app allowed freshmen to digitally issue a virtual ID card and access virtual classrooms and learning, during the Covid-19 pandemic, while also introducing the bank to a new generation of potential future high earners. It will continue to provide virtual learning options long into the future. Other innovations included:

  • Manee Social Commerce: a professional online store management solution that links to the MaeManee app and offers social media entrepreneurs’ easy access to inventory and order management, payment and logistics/ fulfilment aids, plus digital lending and engagement programs. After its unveiling, transactions leapt ahead by three times previous levels. App user numbers are expected to rise 2.5 times by 2024.
  • End-to-end payroll solutions: for salaried customers, unveiled in partnership with Thailand’s leading Human Resources (HR) platforms, have driven acquisition and engagement at Services include automatic updates, insurance, and access to earned salary before scheduled paydays, through to exceptions for debit or credit card annual fees, and special interest rates on fixed deposit accounts and lending. As a result, 1.1 million good quality payroll customers have been won, contributing to higher net profit margins and 1.6 times better engagement per customer, compared to non-payroll customers.
  • A smart kiosk: with optical character recognition (OCR) technology for electronic e-loyalty programs and a self-serve e-parking stamp capability, which negates the need to queue at a counter, was unveiled last year with retailers Emporium and Emquartier. Customers can scan receipts from merchants and automatically calculate and add loyalty points to membership accounts. The kiosk also captures customer data on shopping and lifestyle behaviour, which can be fed into an artificial intelligence (AI) engine to garner future cross-selling and engagement opportunities.

Green loans are the best
The ‘green’ future is often talked about. But SCB have made it a reality by realizing early that it offers societal, environmental, but also financial benefits for pioneering banks in this area. That is why they created Clean Mobility Loans (auto loan); Green Home Loans (mortgages) and Green Financing for Small Entrepreneurs (business loans for SMEs), winning the Best Loan Offering category at the RBI APAC Awards 2022.

SCB provide fast approvals, zero down payment options, high credit limits, competitive interest rates and long- term repayment periods in order to develop a strong presence in this sustainable green arena. Digital tools and relevant partnerships bulk out the offering – for example, with solar roof installers. There are special privileges and discounts for the bank’s green customers as well. Last year, the total credit limit under their sustainable finance program was more than THB 4.13 billion (US$118m).

  • Clean Mobility Loans: are for vehicles with fuel consumption and air emissions lower than traditional fossil fuel autos. The aim is to contribute to climate change mitigation as well as cut air pollution by encouraging electric and hybrid vehicles in the new and used car segments. Loans can be approved in one day via the SCB Easy App mobile banking application or Car.SCB auto loan website. Zero down payment is needed for high quality customers and payroll customers and repayment options up to 84 months are possible. Partnerships with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) is developing an ecosystem for the future in the digital space where autos, finance and customer experience (CX) align to create a seamless green car buying solution. Last year, THB540m baht (US$15.5m) was lent, double that of 2020.
  • Green Home Loans: are designed to encourage the purchase, building, or renovation of homes with solar roofs or other energy-saving equipment. The finance can be accessed via the SCB Easy app, credit cards, or a home loan with payments spread out in equal instalments. Partnerships with energy and solar firms, including free on-site surveys, are driving customers to the offering. THB30m baht (US$862,000) was lent in H2 2021.
  • Green Financing for Small Entrepreneurs: Small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can get financial support for sustainable products or services in five key areas, covering:
    • Energy efficiency;
    • Pollution management;
    • Green wholesale & retail businesses;
    • Sustainability advisory; & Female entrepreneurship

"The debit card trophy was awarded by the judges for the Let’s SCB launch aimed at students, freelancers or others typically excluded from credit cards."