Home Borrower KBank launches $2.7 billion tech campaign to expand banking services to unbanked and underbanked Thais

KBank launches $2.7 billion tech campaign to expand banking services to unbanked and underbanked Thais


“We champion simplification, speed and a more sophisticated assessment of the potential of small customers to be responsible borrowers so that the unbanked and underbanked can also benefit from banking products that can improve their lives and businesses.”

Ms. Kattiya Indaravijaya, Managing Director, KASIKORNBANK

BANGKOK, July 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — KASINKORNBANK (KBank) has announced a US$2.7 billion strategic program aimed at strengthening access to banking services for Thailand unbanked and underbanked population as well as very small businesses and the self-employed. The program includes accelerated investments in technology, technology-related acquisitions, business partnerships, organizational development, as well as the adoption of other technology-enabled methods to improve access to banking services with a wider audience.

Ms. Kattiya Indaravijaya, Managing Director, KASIKORNBANK (PRNewsfoto/KASINKORNBANK (KBank))

Ms. Kattiya Indaravijaya, Chief Executive Officer of KASIKORNBANK said, “We are taking a bold step and through our technology leadership aim to transform the banking industry into a Thailand so as to help more people enter the banking system and benefit from banking products and services.

“We are already a bank that has the great strengths and reliability of a traditional bank serving a wide range of customers. What we are doing now is fusing on this performing core the disruptive DNA of a “challenge bank”.

Challenger banks have been a disruptive phenomenon in many countries, challenging traditional banks by using new technologies to make banking products more accessible. Challenger Banks has also won over traditional bank customers by eliminating time-consuming processes and providing services that are faster, easier to use, available everywhere and always on.

“By merging the DNA of a ‘challenge bank’, we want to be a bank that enables a whole new generation of Thais, rich in ability and energy, to access banking products and advice.

“We want to make more loans unsecured and based on the borrower‘s actual ability and intent to repay. We want it to be easier for everyone to apply from the privacy of their home or from his office. We want to take the process and the paperwork out and make things really easy. And we want it to happen for the customer much, much faster.”

Ms. Indaravijaya said, “We have launched our strategic program to fully leverage emerging technologies to conduct more comprehensive assessments of a client’s ability and willingness to repay a loan.

“These more sophisticated assessments of a small customer’s potential to be a responsible borrower will allow millions more people, the self-employed and very small businesses to enter the banking system and free many of them from the trap. debt of loan sharks who charge interest, often at more than 200% per year.”


During this year and the following two years, KBank invests approximately $610 million in new technologies and systems, in addition to 350 million US dollars invested in the past two years.

KBank has revealed that it also plans to conclude, over the next 12 months, between two and five acquisitions and business collaborations with technology-related companies with investments of up to $840 million.


  • KBank is currently piloting specialized buy-now-pay-later loans for self-employed people or those who do not have documentation to prove their income, assessing their creditworthiness on alternative data.

    Over the past few months, KBank has approved an average of 1,600 loan applications daily using this method, and the loan amount is usually around $40some cases up to $560.

    “We are the only bank to do so, and we are very encouraged by the fact that many of these people have probably never obtained a loan from a bank and are probably among the most vulnerable victims of loan sharks. This first small loan becomes a gateway that helps them enter the banking system. And, as they gain confidence in managing these loans and repaying, they can gradually increase their loan amount based on their performance, as well as other more specialized products,” Ms. Indaravijaya said.

  • KBank is also testing ways to make it fairer for micro-enterprises to get loans as part of its ‘challenge bank’ goals.

    Since many of these types of businesses do not have financial statements, they are almost always unable to secure bank loans and are forced to turn to expensive, unofficial sources of lending.

    “We are the first bank to reach out to these groups and enable them to obtain loans without such documentation. We do this based on interviews and other technology-assisted assessments, and hope to expand the project beyond its preliminary phase, as soon as possible,” she added.

  • Ms Indaravijaya said another significant barrier to obtaining bank loans for low-income groups and the self-employed is that they do not have time to go to a bank branch or are not comfortable doing it.

    “To make it easier for them to enter the banking system, we have partnered with the LINE social media app and are the only bank to offer social media banking services in Thailand. Even if an applicant does not have a bank account, our LINE BK app allows them to apply for a loan and get a decision within 24 hours. And if they already have an account with KBank, they can complete an application and receive a decision in less than five minutes.

    “The LINE BK app also allows people to apply for loans even if they don’t have supporting documentation. With the applicant’s consent, we can assess most cases using alternative algorithms and data already available on their social networks.

    Based on its current user base, approximately one in three successful borrowers through LINE BK gets their first bank loan, ever; almost half are self-employed, about half have incomes below $420 per month, and nearly 80% are in provinces outside bangkok.

    “By the end of this year, with the LINE BK app alone, we hope to bring another 200,000 people into the banking system by giving them their first bank loan.. Through this channel, we also plan to grant loans totaling US$550 million to more than 600,000 people and small businesses, freeing many of them from the need to consider borrowing from expensive unofficial sources,” she said.


KBank is also working with a major retail group to give inland family store operators easier access to collateral-free loans, as well as providing loans to store customers.

“By assessing the creditworthiness of a store and its customers in a non-traditional way and greatly simplifying the processes, by 2022 we aim to penetrate deep into the hinterland through the partner’s thousands of stores. will bring the inhabitants of the small towns around Thailand access banking services,” she said.

Note to Editor

Like a March 31, 2022the total assets of KBank and its subsidiaries were 4,133,248 million bahtan augmentation of 29,849 million baht i.e. 0.73% at the end of 2021, ranking it second Thailand based on loan market share.

KBank is financially well positioned for the future with an equity ratio of 18.77% and a liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) of 174%, and has an adequate loan loss reserve with loan coverage non-performing (NPL) by 159%, at December 2021.

KBank is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and is a constituent of the SET 100 Index, SET Thailand Sustainability Investment Index (THSI) and SET CLMV Exposure Index, and is rated long-term by Moody’s at Baa1 Outlook Stable.

Where US dollar figures are quoted, exchange rate calculations are approximate and rounded.