Thailand’s Kasikornbank (KBank) is pressing ahead with plans to become a regional digital bank, with an expansion drive in Vietnam.
Aiming to invest more than 2.7 billion baht (about US$75 million) to fortify its service network within AEC+3 (ASEAN plus Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea), KBank has announced its commitment to broaden its presence in the Vietnamese market in order to serve customers across all segments with digital services.
For the Vietnam market, the bank aims to lend 20 billion baht (US$560 million) and have a retail customer base of 1.2 million by 2023.
Kattiya Indaravijaya, KBank Chief Executive, said that bright prospects lie ahead for the ASEAN economy post-pandemic. Aside from a recovering economy, ASEAN is known for its large marketplace with a growing share of young people – the main driver of its economic expansion.
Moreover, the bloc's economy is set to see exponential growth as more and more consumers lead a digital life, Kattiya added.
KBank President Pipit Aneaknithi said that the Vietnamese economy is poised to record the fastest growth in ASEAN, thanks to its huge potential in attracting investment from around the world.
Vietnam has emerged relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 crisis, and its public debt is below 60% of GDP. Vietnam also has a promising outlook and is set to become a newly industrialised country, with high upper middle-income status, by 2030, and a developed country by 2045, he added.
The Vietnamese government's policy is to promote the country as a new technology hub for Asia. The country has a population of more than 100 million people, and they are relatively young, with a working-age majority. Its middle-class population has grown significantly in recent years.
Domestic consumption is projected to grow by 7% annually over the next three years. Additionally, spending via digital channels is common in Vietnam, as evidenced by the fact that more than 50% of its consumers shop online.
Pipit said that KBank aims to be the first foreign bank in Vietnam to offer fully-fledged 'digital product solutions' to all customer segments.
He added that the bank plans to continuously expand into new products and services.
KBank currently has an overseas service network covering the AEC 3 countries and beyond, for a total of 16 nations. The newest overseas branch is in Ho Chi Minh City, which will officially open on August 5.