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Thai bank starts giving digital loans

Thailand’s second-largest lender will start giving digital loans to sellers on an e-commerce business, in the bank’s latest digital partnership.

The tie-up will give online sellers access to loans of up to THB600,000 and also offer advice and training, the bank’s President noted, with sellers being able to obtain loans without submitting physical documents.

He also noted that the bank will serve online sellers who want to equip themselves and expand their business.

Thai bank earnings have been under pressure from a digital transaction fee waiver last year and slowing loan growth.

The banks non-interest income fell 16% to THB13.6 billion and loans grew 3.8% in the second quarter to end-June as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy grew just 2.3% over the period, the weakest annual pace in nearly five years.

A simplified process will allow sellers to focus on growing their businesses without worrying about the administrative process of obtaining loans, Chief Operating Officer of the online shopping store stated.

The platform in Thailand features major brands and about 750,000 individual sellers.

Thai banks have turned to Thailand’s booming e-commerce sector to expand digital lending, which doubled to THB334.2 billion in 2017, according to government data.

Last month, a rival lender also announced a partnership to expand digital loans with Sea’s Thai unit.

In 2018, the bank invested US$50 million in a ride-hailing firm and in July 2019 it introduced to merchants and the ride-hailing firm’s drivers’ personal loans, hire purchase and small business financing products.

Ambitious digital goals will push Thailand forward

According to an earlier OpenGov Asia report, Thailand’s plan to transform into a digital hub is outlined in its Thailand 4.0 policy.

It is an effort that the government is making to not only gain technological capabilities to support residents but also involves a series of programs to help companies in the country accelerate their journey to digital.

As a result, the country has begun to gain attention from commercial giants across the world who are looking for big-ticket investments opportunities.

Companies specializing in innovative and advanced technologies such as complex medical devices, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, biosciences, and aerospace are keen to start up new operations in Thailand, according to experts.

In fact, Thailand predicts that more than 475,000 jobs will be created as a result of the Thailand 4.0 policy.

One of the sectors which the government is working to push forward is smart farming. Authorities argue that smart farming will be a value-based product of training, skills development, and knowledge, bringing prosperity to 20,000 households in the next 5 years.

The government is keen to invest in technology-based programs as they believe it will improve the overall well-being of the Thai people and drive the nation forward.

To ensure success, Thailand is creating a compelling proposition to invite innovative brands into the country by offering attractive tax incentives for foreign investors.

For example, 13 years of tax breaks and 4 years of renewable smart visas for investors and global talent are becoming easier to obtain for qualified companies and professionals.

Through its efforts, the country is positioning itself as Asia’s next digital hub.

Efforts to increase expenditure on research and development, according to Thai officials, will expand the country’s economic growth rate in the next 5 years, as well as significantly help increase per capita income.

Thailand’s strategic location is expected to help the country in its aspirations to get more traction as a digital hub, especially when competing with peers in the region, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

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