In a recent interview, Arthit Sriumporn, the Senior Vice President (SVP) of Commercial Banking at Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), which is Thailand's largest bank by total assets, talked about the benefits SCB has enjoyed by being part of RippleNet, Ripple's global payments network.
On Thursday (March 26), a post on Ripple's "Insights" blog featured an interview with Sriumporn, during which the SCB SVP talked about his firm and how it has benefited by being a member of RippleNet.
“Siam Commercial Bank is more than 100 years old and is Thailand’s largest bank with more than 1,000 branches across the nation.
"We support a wide range of customers from retail to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporations.
"Our focus is always on enriching the customer experience and RippleNet has helped us to do this with remittances."
Despite being Thailand's oldest bank, Thailand's incredibly high adoption of mobile phone technology appears to have helped Thailand become a world leader in mobile banking.
An article published on 19 February 2019 in Bangkok Post said that the Global Digital Report 2019 "put Thailand top in the global rankings of internet banking service access, at 74% of the population, followed by Sweden (71%) and Turkey (68%)." As for crypto ownership, this report said that "Thailand ranked second with 9.9% of internet users owning cryptocurrency, behind only South Africa at 10.7%, while Indonesia was third at 9.5%."
Sriumporn also talked about SCB customers' experience with the bank's new mobile app:
“We first enticed our customers to use our new mobile app by making it completely fee free,.
"When people became so used to the convenience of doing banking from their phones, we raised customer expectations around all of our services.
"Customers who send money to family and friends outside of Thailand didn’t like that it still involved visiting a branch, filling out lots of forms and then waiting up to five days for the money to get there.”
Ripple says that it is estimated that Thailand is "home to 4.9 million migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia," and that the region's $68 nillion remittances market motivated SCB to join RippleNet "in order to enhance its existing expensive and time-consuming cross-border payments process."
Here is Sriumporn talking about "SCB Easy", the bank's latest innovation, which is powered by Ripple's technology:
“We created SCB Easy, an app that runs on Ripple and allows our customers to send money to family and friends abroad from their phones.
"Transfers happen in real-time but are still cheaper than the five-day process.
"We’ve used RippleNet to connect to banking partners around the world, which helped us open up more corridors and serve more customers quickly and easily.”
But the benefits of being part of RippleNet do not stop there:
“We’re working on a QR code-based app that enables tourists to use their home country mobile app for Thailand’s QR code payment.
"Tourists simply scan the QR code to pay for something instantly without dealing with exchange rates or having to carry around large amounts of local currency.
"It’s something new in the market that will change the tourism landscape and make lives better.”
Sriumporn goes on to say:
“The instant remittances experience creates peace of mind for our customers.
"We want to expand that experience to more markets, as well as to our small business and enterprise customers.
"Being part of RippleNet has helped us to completely enhance our customer experience, expand our business and keep SCB moving into the future.”
Earlier this month, Ripple announced via a blog post that Thai global remittance firm DeeMoney had become the first non-bank financial institution in Thailand to join RippleNet.
Bangkok-headquartered DeeMoney joined RippleNet in order to offer cheaper and faster money transfers to its customers.
Marcus Treacher, SVP of Customer Success at Ripple, stated at the time:
“The digital banking revolution is taking Thailand by storm, and DeeMoney is a key player in this.
"By being the first non-bank institution in Thailand to use RippleNet, it redraws the boundaries and rules of engagement by providing efficient international transfers at low fees and competitive rates.
"Thailand has stated its intention to be a Smart Nation and we are proud to be an enabler of the process by partnering with DeeMoney."