Thailand's best digital bank 2018: Siam Commercial Bank
Siam Commercial Bank
In Thailand’s fast-changing digital banking landscape, it is hard to stay ahead of the game. Still, under head of digital banking Tana Pothikamjorn, Siam Commercial Bank, the country’s oldest lender, has done precisely that. Building on the bank’s reputation as a disrupter, SCB was the first Thai commercial bank to scrap fees on digital transactions for money transfers and bill payments in March.
SCB sent further shock waves through the banking system when president Arthid Nanthawithaya announced plans to slash the number of branches from 1,153 to 400 over the next five years. In place of bricks and mortar, the bank would spend $1.2 billion rolling out new digital platforms as part of its strategy to create a more nimble, innovative bank better able to respond to the demands of tech-savvy consumers.
“In the past, we gained direct access to customers because they came to our branches,” says senior vice-president Dechapol Lamwilai. “Now banks have to think differently if they are to survive.”
Focusing on the bigger picture is just one part of SCB’s success. The other is providing online users with some of the best banking tools in the industry. Last year, the bank successfully launched the second-generation version of SCB Easy, its mobile banking app. This completely redesigned platform offers a series of new features, including a digital lending facility and an e-marketplace.
The bank also launched SCB Connect, a personalized service on the mobile messaging application Line that communicates account information, customized products and barcode generation for bill payment to customers.
Not surprisingly, the impact of all this has been far reaching: the number of digital users at SCB hit seven million, with more than 70% of them being active users.