Krungthai Bank and Advanced Info Service (AIS) have joined together to fund a virtual bank that can reach more people.
The president of KTB, Payong Srivanich, said that KTB and AIS had signed a memorandum of understanding to invest in a virtual bank that would provide traditional banking services online without the need for brick-and-mortar locations. The cooperation, he added, is a reflection of the growth of both companies.
Banks in Thailand are now waiting for the central bank to publish virtual banking laws. The Central Bank has been busy creating licensing standards and studying virtual bank models from other countries, emphasizing that these guidelines will be appropriate for the Thai economy and market.
Since the Bank of Thailand believes that virtual bank licenses should be targeted at previously unbanked and underbanked customers rather than current clients, it has declared that financial institutions holding commercial banking licenses would not be permitted to apply for virtual bank licenses. But other businesses that are part of a commercial bank group but do not have banking licenses can apply for virtual bank licenses.
Prior to the release of rules, a number of commercial bank executives expressed an interest in pursuing virtual bank license applications. Through licensing, they want to have access to new digital age commercial options.