SCBX and KakaoBank Seek the Thailand Virtual Banking License to Provide Best-in-Class Services to Underserved Population

SCB X Public Company Limited (SCBX), the ‘mothership’ of Thailand’s leading financial technology group, continues to make significant strides in advancing its strategic agenda aimed at addressing the challenges faced by underserved individuals in Thailand. SCBX announces its readiness to apply for a license to establish a virtual bank with the Bank of Thailand (BOT) in collaboration with KakaoBank, the largest digital bank in South Korea. This partnership involves the formation of a consortium, in with SCBX holding a majority stake and KakaoBank holding a stake of at least 20%. Consequently, both organizations demonstrate their unwavering commitment to leveraging technology to provide comprehensive, secure, and convenient financial services to the underserved population.

Mr. Arthid Nanthawithaya, Chief Executive Officer of SCBX, said, “Income inequality remains a critical global issue, including in Thailand, where a considerable number of Thai individuals still belong to the underserved group lacking access to financial services. SCBX’s growth strategy has been built in response to opportunities to address such global pain point as financial inclusion. Upcoming virtual banks in Thailand will play a pivotal role in creating opportunities for the underserved population to access financial services. We see the crucial role of technology in developing customer-centric and flexible products with optimal cost structure, to maximize customer satisfaction.”

“We truly believe a strategic partnership with KakaoBank, a globally renowned and South Korea’s largest full-fledged digital bank, will significantly enhance our group’s competitive advantage. KakaoBank’s strengths lie in distinctive expertise in developing virtual banking business with state-of-the-art technology. The signing of a consortium agreement marks a pivotal milestone as we prepare to apply for a virtual banking license with the Bank of Thailand.”

Mr. Yun Ho Young, Chief Executive Officer of KakaoBank, said, “We are delighted to join hands as partners with SCBX, Thailand’s leading financial technology group, in the realm of virtual banking. We hope to replicate the disruption KakaoBank brought to the South Korean retail banking market in Thailand with our leadership in financial technology coupled with SCBX’s thorough understanding of the market. We believe our efforts will extend the benefits of full mobile banking services to our customers in Thailand and beyond.”

In order to strengthen the consortium’s core competitiveness, SCBX and KakaoBank are jointly exploring opportunity to identify other strategic partners with the objective of winning a license to establish and operate a virtual banking business in Thailand.