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Slow economy could hit KBank's growth in digital

Digital banking transactions at Kasikornbank this year might grow by only 30 per cent, less than the previously expected 50 per cent, because the economic slowdown has reduced the financial activities of its retail and enterprise clients.

KBank president Teeranun Srihong said yesterday that transactions through digital banking normally grew by 40-50 per cent annually because the bank had actively developed its digital products and services for both retail and enterprise customers.

However, the economic slowdown might have a small impact on financial-transaction growth this year. Still, digital banking could boost the efficiency of enterprises, helping them compensate for economic uncertainty, and KBank aims to develop new digital services for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The growth of KBank digital banking this year will mainly be from SMEs and retail customers, Teeranun said.

"We are creating additional applications for digital banking by joining with enterprise clients to help facilitate the business and personal accounts of operators," he said.

He raised its "Smart Fuel-up Technology" programme and fleet cards for petrol stations as examples of using digital banking to improve businesses' operational efficiency.

KBank has invested about Bt1.5 billion in developing digital banking during the past three years. He said the bank would continue to inject about Bt500 million a year into digital-banking development to secure a market lead in this category and capture new customers each year.

The bank acquires 2 million new accounts per year, of which 70-80 per cent use digital banking.

A major proportion of digital banking transactions is fund transfers, followed by mobile-phone top-ups and bill payments. KBank saw 420 million digital banking transactions last year, representing more than Bt2 trillion in value. The rise of digital banking is led by mobile phones rather than the Internet because of the growing popularity of smart devices.


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