Krungthai Bank is one of the largest banks in Thailand and it is currently at the forefront of the country’s digital banking scene as the owner of Thailand’s no.1 open digital platform, Paotang mobile application, which has accumulated over 40 million users and counting. The success could be attributed to its visionary leader, Mr. Payong Srivanich, who recognized the bank’s urgent need for digital transformation in order to stay relevant and compete in the digital banking era, and pushed forward the transformation. Instead of trying to transform the whole organization at once, which could take much longer time considering the organization’s size and culture, the bank adopted the 2-banking model strategy, consisting of traditional banking and digital organization models. The former is like an aircraft carrier maneuvering core banking businesses and its primary goals are to safeguard the core businesses against disruption and minimize the loss of revenue and profit, while improving efficiency with the help of digitization. The latter acts like a speed boat that ventures around to explore new business opportunities and revenue streams, both from creating new business models and forming partnerships. From the establishment of Krungthai Innovation Lab in the early days, the speedboat is now Infinitas by Krungthai, the bank’s fully-agile subsidiary which is responsible for developing digital platforms. Later on, Arise by Infinitas, a joint venture between Infinitas and Accenture, was also set up to make digital life possible for all by providing digital solutions and nurturing tech talents. All these have supported Krungthai in its endeavor to become full-fledged digital banking and drive the country toward Thailand 4.0 and digital economy.
Krungthai Bank’s CEO, Mr. Payong Srivanich, has been awarded the Banking CEO of the Year 2022 by Global Business Review Magazine due to his forward-looking vision, strong courage-to-change mindset, and outstanding leadership that steer Krungthai Bank through disruptions, economic downturns, and crises, especially during the Covid-19, while putting strong emphasis on the use of digital technology to promote sustainable growth and on the bank’s responsibility for the environment and society.
Krungthai has used the IT infrastructure and capacity that it has been investing in and developing over the years to support the government in implementing government projects, including Covid-19 relief and economic stimulation schemes, and allow the government to effectively manage the schemes and helped people to have access to the government’s relief measures in a way that is inclusive, transparent and accountable. One of the most successful schemes administered on Paotang is the Half-half Copayment scheme, in which participating individuals pay only half the bill when they buy consumer goods and make payment using their G-wallet in Paotang, with the government subsidizing the other half. The scheme does not only reduce the living expenses of buyers, but also helps small businesses improve their liquidity and survive. Furthermore, while receiving help from the government, the people get to familiarize themselves with mobile payment and financial technology, and learn to use them in their daily lives, which is an important step toward a cashless society in Thailand 4.0 economy. The bank has also made it easier for people to save and invest their money by democratizing investment in bonds and gold. For example, it offers 1-Baht Bond, the government savings bond with an unprecedentedly low face value of 1 baht and minimum investment of only 100 baht, making this low-risk investment option accessible to more people as well as promoting good financial health. By supporting government schemes, the bank has gained new customers and valuable insights
With its ‘Growing Together for Sustainability’ vision, the bank aspires to develop local communities, to ensure that they can prosper sustainably. Its flagship CSR project, ‘Go-Local, Grow-Local’ has helped communities across the country on their path to sustainable development. Apart from helping the communities with packaging and product development as well as marketing and financing, the bank introduces financial and digital solutions to the locals, thus promoting financial inclusion and literacy, as well as digital adoption, among the grassroots. The bank also incorporates sustainability and corporate citizenship into its business and contributes to addressing social and environmental issues. As a financial institution, it has incorporated the environmental, social and governance aspects into its green financing program for eco-friendly businesses, such as solar, hydropower and biomass power plants, and started taking into consideration long-term impact of the businesses on consumers in order to reduce environmental risks in lending, pursue the goal of decarbonization and support Thailand’s Bio-Circular-Green (BCG) Economic Model. Since 2020, the bank has provided credit facilities of over 10 billion baht in total to eco-friendly businesses.
In conclusion, while the bank is sustaining its core businesses and upping its digital game to compete and excel in the new digital banking landscape, it also takes into account environmental and social issues, and does its part in solving global challenges. Under the direction of Mr. Payong Srivanich, the bank has weathered the storm and is on its path to sustainable development and prosperity of not only the bank itself but also of the communities around it, the country and the world.