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Globally, the pandemic has been the catalyst for enormous change in the banking and financial services industry, with the adoption of digital banking accelerating beyond all previous projections, and customer expectations changing rapidly in terms of how, where and when people want to manage their finances.
Thailand has been no exception, with the country’s banking and financial services industry experiencing significant transformation over the last 18 months. In fact, more change has occurred in Thailand’s banking scene in the last two years than had occurred during the previous ten years, with the rate of change continuing to accelerate at pace.
In a country with relatively high formal financial inclusion – more than 80% of Thai adults hold a bank account – a strong economy and excellent digital infrastructure, Thailand is well positioned to capitalise on the benefits that the digital banking revolution can bring.
Government support for digital banking encourages innovation
It’s not just anecdotal evidence that says Thailand has heartily accepted digital banking, with Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput recently stating that there are more than 75 million digital bank accounts currently open in Thailand, a huge jump from only half a million 10 years ago.
The Governor also highlighted that online money transfers have surged to almost 10 billion transactions per year, compared with just 95 million ten years ago.
These figures clearly illustrate the country’s eager acceptance of digital financial services, and the readiness with which Thai consumers have embraced online and digital banking. Mobile payments, online transfers and managing bank accounts via apps are all considered commonplace today, and consumers demand access to their money when, where and how they want it.
Research highlights Thai consumers’ passion for digital banking
To get a clearer understanding of how consumers think and feel about banking and financial services in a post-pandemic world, Mambu recently surveyed 4,500 consumers globally, with the results from the more than 500 Thai respondents confirming that the country is a frontrunner when it comes to the adoption of next-gen financial services.
In a sure sign that the future of banking in Thailand is digital, 93 percent of Thai consumers said the availability of digital banking services from their bank was important, and 73 percent were willing to pay a premium for financial services that either save time or offer greater flexibility, much higher than the global averages of 56 percent (save time) and 57 percent (greater flexibility).