KBank invests 8-billion-Baht in KVision to expand Regional Business and serve customers in an era of borderless banking services and increasingly digital consumers
With the aim to support the inception of “Regional Life Platform of Choice” and expand regional business in AEC+3 markets, KASIKORNBANK (KBank) has invested 8 billion baht in a new company “KVision”, which will engage in joint ventures with leading technology and financial firms worldwide to provide financial services to a large regional customer base.
Mr. Pattarapong Kanhasuwan, KBank Executive Vice President, said “the world has changed significantly because of digital disruption, and digital technology has become the fifth requisite of people’s lives. People get access to an array of solutions and services in the digital world at their fingertips, and a new generation of consumers has emerged. As “digital consumers” have different behaviors and needs, banking services have to be redefined. While products were previously designed for large segments of customers, we are now seeking to meet individual needs. With the help of Big Data Analytics, we gain more in-depth understanding of customers’ needs and are able to create customer segments that have never existed before”.
KBank’s transformation into a “Life Platform” will cater to diverse requirements of all customers, anywhere and anytime. Customers will be offered new services, financial and beyond financial as well, including shopping, travel, entertainment and many others, via the Application Programming Interface (API) technology, which will seamlessly link KBank with the products and services of its business partners.
Mr. Pattarapong said that KBank has extended its aspiration with the strategic goal of expanding into AEC+3 markets – where its digital technology capabilities will be enhanced via digital channels and mobile solutions to be the most-preferred platform among customers both in Thailand and other AEC+3 countries. To this end, KBank has established KASIKORN VISION COMPANY LIMITED or KVision, with an investment of more than 8 billion Baht (245 million USD) to enhance its digital technology capabilities and strengthen its resources. KVision is an investment holding company under KASIKORNBANK FINANCIAL CONGLOMERATE responsible for scouting tech communities to find innovative firms and tech talents from all corners of the world to collaborate and develop new technological capabilities.
In the initial stage, KVision will place its focus on building a strong foundation. To start with, the “Business Innovation Scouting” will be implemented in the four target countries which have blazed new trails in technologies, especially in terms of their application to daily use by consumers. They include People’s Republic of China (PRC) where the number of fintech unicorns – a fintech firm worth in excess of one billion USD has outstripped that of the US, Vietnam and Indonesia where tech start-ups have been among the fastest growing companies in the AEC+3 region, and Israel – an incubator of tech talents - where new technologies originate.
After analyzing the market to find potential partners, KVision may further analyze the potential to invest with its partners through a feasibility study. Investments may be held directly under KVision or through Beacon VC Fund, of which whose the investment capital has been raised to provide financial support to potential tech start-ups with offerings being in line with KBank strategy and business plans. These technologies will be applied to extend and improve KBank services in Thailand as well as other AEC+3 countries.
KVision will equip KBank with competitive edge in terms of flexibility to apply digital solutions to service customers, leapfrog the process of service development and enable KBank to offer new experiences which are more diverse and faster to match the customer needs. Additionally, by working with KVisions innovative partners and experts, KBank staff will have the opportunity to improve their capabilities, gain a better understanding of regional trends and refine their innovative thinking through a hands-on experience.
Mr. Pattarapong added that, in a changing global business environment, banks have found themselves competing with other businesses outside the banking industry as well. Therefore, KBank must constantly engage in self-improvement to bolster services and offer new experiences for local and international customers in order to truly become a “Regional Life Platform of Choice”. KVision marks the first-ever attempt of the Thai commercial banking sector, at a regional scale, to delve into advanced technology in response to an expanding scope of modern commercial banking services to stay at the forefront of the borderless business world. The establishment of KVision will help KBank to develop and create new business opportunities with their partners, secure the market leadership position in digital technology and compete with business rivals in every platform of the region.