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Bangkok Bank ready for Promptpay

Source: Peterojesen.wordpress

Traditional finance companies are beginning to fear the impact of the government’s PromptPay e-payment platform, as reported by The Bangkok Post.

The introduction of a new e-payment system, sponsored by the Thai government, will be a way for ecommerce businesses to overcome low credit card penetration in the country. Bangkok Bank expects transactions via its branch channel will decline more than 5% annually over the next few years due to the advent of the government’s national e-payment scheme.

Transactions through Bangkok Bank have continued to decline by 5% per year over the past few years as customers move away from the brick-and-mortar banking channel and towards the online platform.

Transactions through Bangkok Bank’s 1,000 or so branches nationwide have continued to decline by around 5% per year over the past few years as customers move away from the brick-and-mortar banking channel and towards the online platform, says Prassanee Ouiyamaphan, Executive VP of Bangkok Bank.

Currently, transactions via traditional channels represent about 30% of the total transaction rate.

PromptPay, a money transfer and payment service via the digital channel under the e-payment scheme, is scheduled to open for pre-registration today at many commercial banks, including Bangkok Bank.

Under PromptPay, people can easily and rapidly transfer money online to recipients who hold accounts at different banks, or even the same banks in cross-clearing zones, free of charge.

All transactions up to $142.44 (THB 5,000) are free; then transfers up to $855 (THB 30,000) are charged a fee of no more than $0.06 (THB 2); and transfers exceeding $2849 (THB 100,000) are charged no more than $0.28 (THB 10).

Most customers are expected to register via ATMs, followed by the digital channel. The bank’s ATM and debit cardholders total 12 million, while the bank has 9,500 ATM terminals.

Bangkok Bank allows people to sign up for PromptPay during pre-registration, which runs until July 14, via mobile banking and websites.

All banks would compete to attract consumers to use their accounts as the main account for PromptPay registration, though overlapping accounts will be unavoidable during the pre-registration period. However, accounts to be linked to mobile phones and ID cards will be verified from July 15 when official registration begins.

Bangkok Bank shares closed yesterday on the SET at $4.50 (THB 158.50), down 1%, in heavy trade worth $40 million (THB 1.46 billion).

A version of this appeared in Bangkok Post on July 1. Read the full article here

Take Down Traditional Finance Companies

Source: techcrunch.com

FinAccel is a new company that aims to take down traditional finance companies proposing a different approach: enabling a credit line for online purchases.

The company is based in Jakarta, Indonesia, and essentially acts as a layer between its credit card and lending company partners and consumers buying online.

Started last year by Akshay Garg, who founded ad tech firm Komli, ex-McKinsey consultant Umang Rustagi, and Alie Tan, formerly of a number of startups, the company has raised an undisclosed seed round, which TechCrunch understands to be more than $1 million, led by Jungle Ventures to get started.

The idea behind FinAccel is to disrupt the credit industry by enabling consumers to reap the benefits with a model that fits today’s digital era.

Initially in Indonesia only, customers have 30 days to repay the amount at no added cost, but the startup is planning to introduce credit card-style payback plans soon.

We are basically putting a virtual credit in hands of five to 10 million people in next five years[…].

We want to go hard against the consumer finance companies,” Garg said. “There’s a crazy amount of bullshit marketing in the industry today” justifying the willingness to take down traditional finance companies

The goal, he explained, is more than just beating existing finance companies, FinAccel wants to unlock new consumer spending opportunities, particularly in the ecommerce space.

FinAccel has plans to be present across Southeast Asia’s six main countries with an expansion that will likely kick off next year starting with Thailand.

The lack of credit cards in emerging markets like Southeast Asia is one of the major hurdles that online commerce companies are facing.

A version of this appeared in TechCruch on June 1. Read the full article here.