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Thailand Post to use tech to provide rural finance options

According to a recent report, the Thailand Post is looking to expand financial services through electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC) and self-service kiosks to serve customers in rural areas with no bank branches, competing with 7-Eleven convenience stores.

The President of Thailand Post noted that the agency has seen an increase in the demand for bank services at our 1,200 branches nationwide, serving consumers who may not be able to go to bank branches or whose branches closed because of digital disruption.

The company has been expanding banking agent services for deposits since 2011 through six bank partners and in August 2018 expanded its cooperation to four other banks.

Thailand Post has 10 bank partners and is in discussions with Bangkok Bank to partner.

Thailand Post expects 700-million-baht worth of transactions in the first three months of 2019. Over the period, the number of transactions went from over 10,000 per month to 40,000-50,000 transactions.

By the second quarter this year, Thailand Post will offer withdrawal services, allowing bank customers to use their national ID cards and mobile bank applications to withdraw money at post offices. For those who don’t use mobile applications, they can use their ATM card with a national ID to withdraw.

Thailand Post is considering using an e-KYC kiosk as a self-service counter for future financial services, particularly for personal loans and opening new bank accounts.

It was noted that while many customers use mobile applications, there are still opportunities for those who don’t want to use mobile banking. Thailand Post has delivery services for individual users and online merchants to use at branches, making it a one-stop service for customers.

Wallet@Post is an e-wallet application for cash-on-delivery to collect money from online shoppers and transfer money through an e-wallet for merchants, a service that has nearly 1 million transactions so far.

Thailand Post also offers payment services for traffic fines and M-Pass expressway top-ups.

The company has 1,200 branches countrywide, 80% outside major cities.

To stimulate use, the company reduced deposit fees to a flat rate of five baht per transaction from 10-25 baht (depending on the bank), with a maximum deposit of 20,000-50,000 baht per transaction. Last year Thailand Post’s financial service revenue including payments comprised 7% of the total, with 10% the goal for 2019.

Banks using facial recognition tech

Recently, OpenGov Asia reported that the fifth largest bank in Thailand has introduced facial recognition through electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) technology for verifying the identities of people as they open a deposit account.

Under the Bank of Thailand’s regulatory sandbox, the technology enables an upgrade of the bank’s verification process and accuracy toward international standards. Now available for customers at various branches, the facial recognition for e-KYC will also be deployed when customers open their passbook via the mobile application by the end of the second quarter.

The identity proofing process using facial comparison will enhance the security of identity verification, reduce the risk of mistakes in the proofing process, and prevent identity theft and fraudulent transactions, while maintaining a convenient and speedy process for account opening, said the Head.

Thailand 4.0

The aim of this new economic model is to transform the region is a technological and manufacturing hub.

This will be done by establishing digital infrastructure with sufficient capacity and coverage to support seamless service delivery; using digital technology as a tool to bring a better quality of life and equal access to public services of all citizens (i.e., digital Inclusion), and promoting the growth of innovative businesses that utilize digital technology.

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