Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Setting the Stage for Standalone Digital Banks in Thailand

Thailand Standalone Digital Banks

Thailand is laying the foundations for standalone digital banks as it strives to catch up with other Asian markets, according to the governor of its central bank.

It was noted that, currently, Thailand is working to build the ecosystems in place in places like Singapore or Hong Kong. Three key pillars are needed to build digital banks: data from non-financial sources, an electronic identification system, and a suitable regulatory framework.

Thailand is stepping up its efforts to ensure these reach international standards, the governor noted.

The authorities in Thailand are trying to keep pace with the digital banking transformation in Asia, where new entrants are emerging to compete with established banks such as HSBC Holdings.

For Thailand, digitisation is seen as a way to spread banking services more widely as well as boost competition.

With regard to digital banking licences, the aim is to have a new financial services provider that can serve the currently underserved, meaning that you have to be able to meet the needs of people on the street.

Singapore is set to issue as many as five digital banking licences to non-banks in June, while eight virtual lenders are starting in Hong Kong this year. Both cities have attracted technology heavyweights.

While Thailand lacks independent virtual banks, local and foreign lenders do offer various digital services in the country, including payments. Singapore’s UOB started its first mobile-only bank, known as TMRW, in Thailand last year.

Still, more digital banking services are needed in Thailand, the governor stated. Existing ones are limited mostly to fund transfers, and lending is “a big challenge” because there is insufficient data to help banks evaluate clients’ creditworthiness.

This can come from when customers use mobile phones, the way they conduct their business using the digital footprint ecosystem.

The Bank of Thailand is working with various parties to introduce electronic lending and other financial services this year. More collaboration between government agencies is key, the governor said.

Enabling digital banks through international collaboration

According to an earlier OpenGov Asia report, the monetary authorities of Thailand and Hong Kong will soon launch a two-tier digital token, part of the process for creating a prototype for cross-border fund transfers between the two economies using financial technology (fintech).

The first tier of the prototype, known as Project LionRock-Inthanon, involves the issuance of a token to Hong Kong banks taking part in the pilot programme, according to a spokesman of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The second tier involves the banks distributing the tokens to their corporate customers for settling wholesale payments with other banks, or with other companies.

The two-tier system is a step forward in Project LionRock-Inthanon, which was established in November based on a fintech collaboration between HKMA and Bank of Thailand in May 2019.

The use of the blockchain-backed token is expected to speed up currency settlement between the two economies – with US$19.6 billion in bilateral trade last year – giving companies and banks more competitive exchange rates for the Hong Kong dollar and the Thai baht.

It is also a different usage case compared with the digital currency under development by China’s central bank, which on replacing coins and banknotes in circulation to support retail transactions.

Project LionRock will focus on streamlining cross-border transfer and payment between banks and companies.

The prospect of issuing a central bank digital currency for retail purposes in Hong Kong is limited, as the region has so many retail payment services (ranging from) credit card, debit card, and (others).

Using blockchain, the HKMA’s cross-border payment platform under the “depositary receipt corridor network” enables companies in both Hong Kong and Thailand to settle wholesale payment with each other directly, as the blockchain technology overcomes the shortcomings with the existing correspondent banking model, which involves multiple numbers of intermediaries that often result in payment delays.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.