Thailand’s oldest banking institution, Siam Commercial Bank, has been putting in significant effort to improve the digital payment and remittance sector of the country. Already a part of RippleNet, the company has just signed a deal for using blockchain for this very purpose. Earlier this week, a press release confirmed that the bank has partnered with a local blockchain firm known as Lightnet Group. According to the release, remittance services will be added to all Thai bank accounts because of the partnership. It will also allow seamless integration with a payment service backed by the Thai government known as PromptPay, which ensures smooth interbank transfers.
As far as Siam’s role is concerned, it will assist in optimizing the remittance system introduced by LightNet. The goal is to provide real-time remittances to the country from any part of the world and ensure quicker clearing of payments. The executive vice president at Siam of the company’s Payment Strategy and Digital Disruptive Technology department, Srihanath Lamsam praised the move and said that it was another step in ensuring the digital transformation of the bank. He went on to say that the partnership was aimed at revolutionizing the global remittance industry, thereby offering customers with quicker transfers for a much lower fee.
This year, one of the primary objectives of Siam has been to facilitate instant payments. In order to do so, the company had partnered with RippleNet as well, and it has been taking that agenda forward on a number of fronts. It is understandable that the mission is high on the list for the company. According to data provided by the World Bank, one of the main remittance destinations in the world is none other than Thailand, as nearly $6.7 billion is sent to the country every year. However, it is also a fact that sending and receiving money in the country is also one of the most expensive in the world.
To eliminate this problem, a number of project shave been undertaken by Siam. It introduced a mobile app in January with Ripple Labs. Powered by blockchain, the app is called SCB Easy and it allows cross-border transactions at a low cost. The senior vice president of commercial banking at SCB, Arthit Sriumporn gave a demo of the app last December at the annual customer event by Ripple and it took seconds for completing a cross-border transaction. Siam also announced that it was working on delivering EMVCo barcode payments.
This particular payment method is quite popular in Asia and SCB is hoping to leverage its capabilities for offering micro-payment services to its clients. The Thai bank had partnered with Azimo, a digital money transfer service, in April for the purpose of launching an instant cross-border payment system. A press release said that solving expensive and unreliable global transfers was their aim. Both companies highlighted that it would take them less than a minute to process transfers from Europe to Thailand, even though it usually takes one day for them to be cleared by other means.