Siam Commercial Bank, the oldest banking institution in Thailand, has been working significantly to improve the country’s remittance and digital payment sector. The firm, which is already a part of RippleNet, has just inked a deal to use blockchain for the purpose.
Digital Transformation for Effective Payments
A press release from earlier this week confirmed that the bank has partnered with Lightnet Group, a local blockchain company. As the release explained, the partnership will bring remittance services to all Thai bank accounts. It will also ensure seamless integration with PromptPay, a Thai government-backed payment service that provides seamless interbank transfers.
Siam’s particular role in this system will be to help optimize Lightnet’s remittance system. The objective is to ensure quicker payment clearing and provide real-time remittances to Thailand from any part of the world.
Srihanath Lamsam, Siam’s Executive Vice President of Payment Strategy and Digital Disruptive Technology, praised the move as an additional part of ensuring the bank’s digital transformation. He added that the partnership aims to revolutionize the global remittance industry, providing quicker transfers to customers with much lower fees.
Siam’s Focus on Thailand
Facilitating instant payments has been one of Siam’s primary objectives this year. The company joined RippleNet for the same reason, and it has been furthering that agenda on several fronts.
Understandably, the company has this mission so high on its list. Data from the World Bank shows that Thailand is one of the world’s main remittance destinations, with about $6.7 billion sent there every year. However, the country is also one of the most expensive locations worldwide to send and receive money.
To counter this, Siam has undergone several projects. In January, it launched a mobile app with Ripple Labs. Known as SCB Easy, the app is powered by blockchain, and it delivers low-cost cross-border transactions. SCB’s senior vice president of commercial banking, Arthit Sriumporn, demoed the app at Ripple’s annual customer event last December, and it reportedly completed a cross-border transaction in seconds.
Siam also announced work to deliver cross-border EMVCo barcode payments. This payment method has reportedly gotten popular on the Asian continent, and SCB hopes to leverage its capabilities to offer micro-payment services to customers.
In April, the Thai bank partnered with the digital money transfer service Azimo to launch an instant cross-border payment service to the country.
As a press release explained at the time, the partnership aimed to solve unreliable, expensive global transfers. Both firms highlighted that they could process transfers from Europe to Thailand in less than a minute through the partnership. Azimo highlighted that transfers between Europe and Thailand usually take about a day to clear. By reducing that time to a mere 22 seconds, the partners hoped to make life much easier.