2020 Winner: Kasikornbank recognised for excellence in on-boarding eWallets & staff training – Retail Banker International Asia Trailblazer Awards


Kasikornbank PCL (KBank) has partnered with the Grab taxi hailing, delivery and services app in Thailand to launch the GrabPay eWallet on a white label basis. KBnak’s electronic e-money license and 11 million strong customer base, which have all been through full Know Your Customer (KYC) on-boarding procedures, have been brought to the GrabPay digital wallet, via the bank’s KPlus mobile banking application, meaning that they can now access open loop payment processes that aren’t available if full KYC procedures haven’t been carried out.

Adding the 10 million Grab platform users to the bank’s own extensive customer base, via a simple register with KPlus option and app switch mechanism, means the potenital for user growth is enhanced and extra KYC-compliant services become possible. Using the Prompt Pay Thai QR Standard Payment open loop payment option, for example, is just one such instance. Without KYC compliance it’s not possible to oeprate this. The major card scheme providers have traditionally dominated.

Other Thai e-wallets don’t have the same functionality instead going down the traditional route of partnering with a card scheme, or using tech vendors and biometric prodcures that are often only partially KYC’d or overly reliant on domineering partners. This is a different option that allows easier client on-boarding and different new payment options, services like Top Up, and a larger take to be retained. Meanwhile, it reduces card-based transaction fees and brings other benefits, such as enhanced control.

This is why KBank won the Excellence in Client On-boarding category at the Retail Banker International (RBI): Asia Trailblazer Awards 2020. The GrabPay eWallet, powered by KBank, attracted 500,000 users in its first four months of operation after its launch last year. It brings non-bank users into the orbit of traditional financial services and can span to bill payment and other end uses as the app grows, aiding digital convenience and intergated services.

KBank has also been training its staff to steer the organisation through the digital disruption era and ensure more are enabled to deliver data-driven and agile developmental policies. This has ensured victory in the Best Staff Training & Development Programme at the Retail Banker International (RBI): Asia Trailblazer Awards 2020.

The bank still retains its core internal people skills in sales, service and proactive risk management, but it wanted to enhance its digital and data capabilties to aid future predictive risk management and its online, mobile and context-aware digital services.

To up- and re-skill employees it launched a four-pronged approach, unveiling:

  • An online platform: called KBank Digital Academy (KDA). This learning portal serves as a cnetral access point to all internal and external content providers, such as SkillLane, Coursera, Edx and OokBee. Specialised learning tracks are available and managers go through the courses first to act as evangelists for other employees as they follow on. Staff can learn at their own pace via the portal at any time or any place.
  • Gamification: mehtodologies are applied to boost engagement levels and encurage continuous self-development. For example, a contest called ‘Skills Loading’ was launched with participants given special gifts for taking part. Digital badges also mark attedances for online courses and can be redeemed for prizes.
  • A co-working space: has been unveiled to encourage collaborative learning in a physical location. Its 12 events have so far attracted 3,000 people. But these courses are also available online via videos and so on for later usage. KDA has brought in renowned speakers to cover, among other things:
  • Digital content intergation
  • Agile development
  • Technical problems handling
  • Information and data literacy
  • Cyber-security & responsibilites, which has since attracted 20,000 online eyes.
  • The KDA School of Data Analytics: was established to encourage expertise in big data analytics (BDA) and other forms of data interrogation, presentation and optimisation. So far, 340 employees have completed the Data Science Pathway giving them the skills required to transform into much needed data-related careers. More than 200 department heads have completed a Learning with Data programme to make them more effective in leading teams on data projects.

As of October 2019 there have been 280,000 online course completions v 230,000 previously, representing a rise in participation rates from 89.23% of employees up to 91.71% now. Participation rates are still rising, as are skill levels, making KBank ready for the future.


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!