KASIKORNBANK

 

Embedding financial services (FS) into customers everyday lives, and ensuring no fintech-enabled newcomers can supplant them, is a key aim for modern banks looking to up volumes, revenue and digital engagement. Kasikornbank in Thailand is no exception, winning the Best Retail Bank in Thailand category at the virtual RBI Asia Trailblazer Awards 2021 for partnerships with Facebook, the local Line messaging app, and Finvest.  It also won in the Excellence in Service Innovation category for a new employee Chatbot called KGuru that helps staff investigate and resolve customer queries.

Kasikornbank (KBank) wanted to dominate digital payments, reinvent lending, and democratize investments by serving retail customers with automated solutions that don’t need a relationship manager, while also penentrating new markets. So it has adopted an ecosystem approach, powered by open application programming interfaces (APIs) and other technological aids, to launch three new partnerships designed to meet its aims. They are:

  • Facebook Pay: To eliminate the inconvenience of online payments in social e-commerce, KBank collaborated with Facebook to offer a new seamless App-Switch payment experience via Facebook Pay. This was a first in Thailand. Its led to higher sales volume for online merchants and increased payment transactions on the bank’s KPlus mobile app. Consequently, Kasikornbank has strengthened its position and 55% market share as the main choice for online merchants, while also protecting its 53% market share for online buyers.

 

  • Line BK: The joint venture between KBank and LINE formed the Kasikorn Line Company and Line BK tool, which is a pioneering social banking platform. It offers an e-Savings Account with digital on-boarding, an Online Debit Card, Physical Debit Card and Unsecured Credit Line that doesn't require a payslip. To date, it has more than 2.5 million customers, with 4 million predicted by the end of 2021, and 300,000 approved lending customers are active. THB8 billion (Thai Baht, equivalent to US$236.3 million) has been lent at last count, representing half of industry growth.

 

  • Finvest: was formed by a partnership between Kasikornbank, Lu International and Robowealth. The aim is to end the restriction of wealth management (WM) services for affluent individuals only and democratize it for retail customers by using self-service technologies. The investment marketplace application for local investors provides access to various investment products and asset types with no boundaries. KBank's paperless on-boarding process is completely digitized. The platform accepts most leading local bank statements as a source of funds to reduce key on-boarding constraints.

Service Excellence  
Customer behavior changed after the introduction of self-service mobile banking. They now only consult Kasikornbank staff for major problem solving, not minor issues. This meant the old Knowledge Management (KM) System to help agents’ and branch staff serve clients via a web portal was not efficient, nor sufficiently populated with ready-to-use information to solve complicated queries. That is why a new employee Chatbot called KGuru was launched, with supporting technology, winning the Excellence in Service Innovation category at the RBI Asia Awards 2021.

KGuru helps staff investigate and resolve customer queries by powering the Chatbot with artifical intelligence (AI) machine learning (ML) to learn what are common queries and how best to answer them. The Chatbot engine integrates with an enhanced knowledge management search engine (KMSE) and content framework to ensure orchestration. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is also used to understand an employee's query to the central system, and then provide the appropriate information from the central knowledge store. That may mean suggesting a new solution, content, scripted answer, or potenital follow-up questions to be asked – all with the aim of responding effectively and efficiently against the original customer query. This is how customer services is optimized in the digital age, remembering that self-serve has elimated minor questions and, in rare cases if it hasn’t, then they can answered robotically anyway.

The KGuru system helps up- and multi-skill staff so they are more responsive, fast and helpful to complicated queries – without recourse to long and traditionally more expensive training methods. The Chatbot can also  help create semi-automated workflows which guide frontline employees through complex work procedures to better serve and instruct customers. After they’ve been taught how to use the Chatbot a world of opportunities – and answers – opens up for users. Benefits include:

  • Lower costs & increased productivity: as self-service & automation workflows proliferate internally. Knowledge-sharing also becomes easier.
  • Expanded 24x7 availability: as the bank's knowledge and work processes are constantly acessible.
  • A consistent experience: is created between frontline channels and internal departments. It gives customer-facing answers in a seamless and fast manner by accessing a uniform knowledge database. A query won’t get a different response in future, depending on what agent or counter you speak to.
  • Accelerated staff on-boarding: Newly hired personnel can ask common questions and find answers quickly on the Chatbot about everything they must know to do their job. It can guide employees through a step-by-step on-boarding process and point them to other useful platforms and data without involving the IT helpdesk or other team members as they get up to speed.

The bank’s new knowledge management system continuously captures, reuses, and extends knowledge in a structured and efficient way, consistently updating and feeding the Chatbot with effective new content. Without good KM in place, an organization's chatbots are at risk of becoming lifeless shells that diminish the customer experience (CX) and contribute to the scalability issues they’re designed to alleviate as banks experience digital growth. This is why the solution has been buttressed with good struts that ensure continous learning, flexibility, capacity, consistency and ease of maintenance.

  • Kasikornbank were also HC: Highly Commended at the RBI Asia Awards 2021 in the following categories: Best Payment Innovation; Best Social Media Marketing Campaign; Excellence in SME Banking.

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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!