Thailand’s oldest bank Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is collaborating with Ripple to develop a mobile application powered by blockchain to offer real-time low-cost cross-border payments.
According to a blog post published on January 8, Ripple announced the launch of a new application – dubbed the SCB Easy – which has already been demonstrated back in December during Swell, the company’s annual customer event. The demo app displayed its ability to send cross-border payments in seconds.
At the meeting, SCB’s senior vice president of commercial banking, Arthit Sriumporn, displayed how the app runs as well as explained the advatanges of their app:
“It is so difficult to send and receive money today. People must physically go to a bank branch, fill out long and complicated forms and wait for payments to be received—with no transparency. With our service, their loved ones from abroad can transfer payment and receive money immediately.”
Sriumporn then proceeded to show the app in action by sending a payment to recipient’s bank account and within 40 seconds, the money was transferred.
As a result of this partnership, SCB will be able to fulfill its 16 million customer demands for fast and secure low cost cross-border payments as well as provide a better customer experience.
In addition to that, SCB and Ripple are working together to provide EMVCo QR payments via the app. Whilst QR payments are a popular payment method across Southeast Asia, they are typically only used in the local areas.
However, by capitalizing on this, it will allow SCB to provide micro payment services to clients along with remittances. A recent research conducted by PwC reported that a staggering 86% of Chinese citizens use mobile payment apps and in Thailand, the numbers rise as high as 67%.
In the meantime, the senior vice president took the stage to also discuss their journey and the plans for the future.
The 112-year-old SCB is Thailand’s first domestic bank as well as the largest bank in terms of assets. In 2018 the bank reported assets in value of 3,187 billion baht ($105 billion) and an operating income of 138.2 billion baht ($4.6 billion).
Following this new app development, the bank aims to improve customer experience as well as expand its reach to other countries.
This year, SCB plans to expand into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, where less than 35% of the population have bank accounts. One of the features of SCB Easy is that it allows opening new accounts online, without actually visiting a physical location.
“One connection equals many possibilities,” Sriumporn explained on stage at Swell.
Sriumporn expressed excitement in working with Ripple’s technology and is happy to offer this unique service to its customers as well as to tourists and new customers:
“Imagine you are a tourist coming to Thailand, and you can use your home country mobile application to scan for payment and eliminate the need to exchange for local currency. You can use your mobile app, scan the QR payment and receive goods right away.”