Tag Archives: bank

Fintech Taking Over Thai Banking Figures

The Bank of Thailand has released data about the country’s physical bank branches. In the table entitled “Physical Branches in Firing Line”, the BoT showed how the various banks in Thailand have fared in terms of branching out.

As seen on the table, there is a general decline in physical branches. Most are coming from Kasikornbank which lost 17 branches and Thanachart Bank which lost 16 branches. The biggest losers are the fourth and fifth largest bank in Thailand respectively.

Meanwhile, both Krungthai Bank and TMB Bank were down by three branches. The Thai branch of Standard Chartered dropped by two while Siam Commercial Bank lost one branch.

The biggest gainer is Bangkok Bank which added three branches while Thai Credit Retail Bank, ICBC Bank, and Bank of Ayudhya expanded by only one branch.

According to experts this decline in statistics can be attributed to the growing presence of financial technology or fintech. In short, more and more Thais are going digital. As a consequence, traditional banks are essentially forced to go online to keep up with competition. A senior official of the Bank of Thailand was interviewed by the Bangkok Post saying that the “fast-growing fintech is shifting consumer behaviour towards the digital banking channel and forcing commercial banks to pare down their brick-and-mortar branch networks.”

BoT’s assistant governor for financial institutions policy group, Somboon Chitphentom commented on the matter saying, “Since the beginning of this year, most commercial banks have shuttered more branches than they have opened to adapt to the change in customer behaviour and lifestyle.”

He further explained that technologies are gaining traction all over the financial industry. Payment solutions such as cost-efficient approaches are being utilized to attract and maintain a solid user base. He said, “As a result, these banks have adapted by reconsidering their branch size, relocating existing branches and adding more service channels such as mobile or internet.”

Thai commercial banks are gradually realizing the importance of fintech and they are adapting to stay relevant in the financial industry.

Thai Bank Considers Digital Makeover To Keep Up with Fintech

The oldest local Thai lender, Siam Commercial Bank Plc has announced its plans to revamp its financial technology to boost its products and services.

Siam Commercial Bank is reportedly modernizing its technology, specifically its digital payment platform, by partnering with tech giants Microsoft, International Business Machines (IBM), and Accenture. The century-old bank aims to create applications and brand them as a lifestyle apps that will suit all kinds of clients in their daily activities such as going to the cinema, eating out, and buying goods and services.

The chief executive officer of Siam Commercial Bank, Arthid Nanthawithaya was quoted in an interview saying that they want to go beyond the purpose of banking. He said, “I’m spending my time on every single detail of the new digital platform that we are going to launch very soon, in the next few months. What I want one day is that you’ll see SCB’s digital platform isn’t just a banking platform; this is how you reach out, this is how you gain customers.”

The move from Thailand’s oldest bank has been prompted by the fierce competition from other banks including Kasikornbank Plc who also have entered the digital fray.

However, the competition doesn’t end there. Non-banking digital payment platforms have been popping up online and it is causing a major rift between banks and potential clients. The ease and convenience that they provide have become a threat to the traditional banks.

The development of the new digital payment platform of Siam Commercial Bank is being processed at a time of reassessment in the institution. Mr Arthid confirms, “Further easing of regulations will open the gates for top global fintech providers such as Alibaba and Tencent. That fear and threat has woken up big Thai banks.”

This initiative is part of Siam Commercial Bank’s transformation into a tech-friendly firm. Last September, the famous bank announced that it has allocated $20 billion baht for technology upgrades which will be spread out within the coming two to three years.

Thailand’s CIMB Securities head of research, Kasem Prunratanamala, gave his two cents saying, “Early investment in digital banking will be costly with low return, but it’s a requirement for them to fend off any possible major disruption from non-bank fintech operators.”

While cash remains the prevailing means of transaction, online payments have skyrocketed in 2016 with roughly 35 million baht in circulation. Siam Commercial Bank wants to get into this market before it’s too late.

The Top Banks of 2016

2016 is a year predicted to be a tumultuous year for the world market and the global economy. And keeping your finances secure during these times is a priority and responsibility that should only be trusted to the most reliable banks.

Now, before you go on a practiced spiel about how banks are evil and only taking advantage of the common people through excessive fees and complicated processes, there is an equal amount, if not more, of advantages that banks have to offer.

Such and products and services that banks give their customers include accessibility with the numerous branches and ATMs across the world, low interest rates for loans and compound interest for savings, online banking for your daily needs such as paying bills, managing finances, and purchasing stuff. Banks have an organized system that customers can take advantage of if they handle their money right. You just have to find the bank for you with a good reputation and great service. There are so many out there to choose from and to help you narrow down your options, here are some of the best banks that we’ve found for the year 2016 according to GOBankingRates.com as regulated by the FDIC.

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is the best bank of the year 2016 according to experts. The multinational banking and financial services holding company takes the top spot on the list of best banks to trust this year because of its innovation and reach. It has the most number of US branches at 6,200 across the United States. It also offers a very wide range of financial services and products including loans, deposits, investments, and online banking.

Great Western Bank
This year’s list of best banks to trust in wouldn’t be complete without Great Western Bank. Customers of Great Western Bank find themselves enjoying amazing benefits such as no checking fees, a 0.15 percent APY CD, and a comprehensive array of financial services including deposits, loans, insurances, and investments. The only inconvenience you’ll have is the exclusivity of all of its 158 branches which are located in the West and Midwest area only.

HSBC Bank is a British company that was established as a multinational bank that offers various financial services. Customers that don’t want the hassle may opt for HSBC’s checking account. It is also an affordable bank with a reputable name with its Basic Banking account available at only $3. They also offer more features by availing of the Premier and Advance Checking services. These offerings have both credit cards and savings account options.

US Bank
US Bank is a financial institution that is a diversified financial services holding company. It is one of the good banks for this year because it offers a lower checking fee than many banks at $6.95 and it has CD rate that is higher-than-average at 0.10 percent APY. Besides these features, US Bank also offers various a wide array of financial services such as credit cards, auto loans, mortgage loans, and deposit capabilities.

Bank of America
The Bank of America boasts of an estimated 5,100 banking centers and 16,300 ATMs all over America. This means that customers can conveniently transact anywhere, anytime giving the people the accessibility the they need. Moreover, BofA is the nation’s leading financial institution second largest bank holding company. This is already something to be confident with. However, BofA has a $12 checking account fee which is one of the highest among the best banks to trust this year.

Is Saving Up Holding You Back

The answer might be a big resounding yes.

Most people will tell you that saving up money and sticking it to a bank account is one of the best ways to grow your money. And it is. Opening a savings account in a bank is both practical and safe. However, by solely keeping your life savings in a bank account turns out to be more damaging than advantageous. Surprised? See why:

1) Interest Rates
This seemingly advantageous feature of savings account could actually more harmful than helpful. By keeping your money in an account with an interest rate that is less than 1%, in the long run, you might be looking at a deficit. There are many banks and more popping up online that offer more than the 1% standard interest rate. You would just have to look harder and research better. Just make sure these banks are legitimate and real. But a better deal is if you make your money work for you instead of keeping it idle and depreciating somewhere.

2) Not Diversifying
Here’s the deal, saving up is the one of best things you can do with your money. However, it is not the only thing you can do with it. If you put all of your money, every surplus, each unused wage, and extra income into one savings account, you could be sabotaging yourself financially. Savings accounts are good and well but if you just keep it where it is, hoping for the interest to carry you through for the rest of your life then you won’t have much going for you. The best way is to diversify. Put some of your money into your retirement accounts and invest others in stocks and real estate to have higher returns. Keeping your money idle is not ideal. Put it to use and make it work for you.

3) Online Services
We live in the digital age and it is inevitable that one way or another, technology will be involved in banking especially nowadays that smartphones and tablet dominate the world. And as we move into the cyberworld, tasks have been made easier for our convenience. Now, you can transfer money, pay bills, shop, withdraw, and deposit wherever you are. By taking advantage of the convenience offered by technology, you save up on gas, time, and effort. If your bank still has no online portal, then maybe you should consider going to a new one where you get all the perks of the digital age.

4) Fees and Charges
All banks charge fees for their services such as withdrawals, deposits, overdrafts, and low balances. You can even be charged by simply wanting a receipt or using ATM. That’s why it’s important to choose a bank with the best features. Some of them may offer you bigger interest rates and then charge you for every move you make. So instead of saving up and managing your money properly, you are left wondering why your money hasn’t grown in the bank yet. Remedy this immediately by transferring your wealth to somewhere with better deals. The advancement in technology made sure that everyone can afford online money management with minimum fees.

5) Not Having Sub-Accounts
Sometimes simply saving up is not as effective as designating your money in sub-accounts. Designating money into sub-accounts with specific purposes such as house payments, emergency funds, vacation fund, and car fund can significantly increase discipline in your saving habits. These labels will help you restrain from withdrawing funds. Some banks offer sub-accounts for a price while some offer them for free. There are also many online banks that offer these free of charge.

Having a savings account is a good thing but if you’re not careful, it may be doing more damage than good to your financial life.