Why did Bangkok Bank decide to join BIAN?

The future of banking is being reimagined as we face disruption from every angle. Consumer expectations are changing, new business models are shaking up the status quo, and it is becoming harder and costlier to update our technology systems in such a dynamic environment. Bangkok Bank decided to join BIAN as a way of riding the wave of disruption and participating in an organisation which is leading the way in the development of standards to aid Integration.

This started when SOA moved to APIs a few years ago. We strongly believe in the advantages of collaboration and standardisation and the need to embrace Open Banking and fintechs in an open hearted, yet prudent manner, to protect our customers and brand.

How do you see the future banking landscape in the country developing?

The Thai banking market is highly competitive. As with the USA and the UK, the top four or five banks have a very large share of the market. This means that when new fintechs want to expand, many find it challenging. While the Thai regulators are both supportive and proactive, legislation for true Open Banking is still being formulated. Working with BIAN has accelerated our progress towards a more modern integration architecture. We are also working with the Thai Central Bank and other Thai banks with the ambition of creating standardised BIAN APIs for the Thai market. This would have significant advantages of efficiency for both the existing banking industry and fintechs entering the Thai market. As I said this is an ambition and not yet agreed, but there is interest among many parties

In the next 10 years, the country’s entire banking structure will look drastically different. This is down to increased competition and higher technology standards in the industry. Regionalisation under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will also dramatically change the landscape.

What role is Bangkok Bank playing in the development of Thailand’s banking technology?

Bangkok Bank has long been at the forefront of innovation in the country. We had the first online branch network in the 80’s and were the first Thai bank to introduce chip and pin in 2009, well before it was mandated by the government.

Desktop internet never took off in ASEAN except for Singapore. At peak, we had 6 million desktop connections for a population of more than 60 million. Mobile was a true game changer. Now, mobile banking is our most popular transaction source, which is amazing when you consider that we have more than 10,000 ATM’s and 1,200 branches.

What role do you think the Coreless Banking Initiative will play in the financial sector?

I think the days of big projects to replace core systems are over (except those required for reasons of compliance). We have neither the time nor the resources for these types of projects, which deliver little customer value and result in delays for projects of true innovation.

BIAN’s Coreless Banking initiative will provide a platform for banks to collaborate with leading software vendors on developing future-proof, regulatory-compliant and universally compatible banking infrastructure based on BIAN Compliant micro-services. The Coreless Bank initiative also aims to solve the challenges presented by legacy core infrastructure and allow for faster, more cost-effective development of services that are more relevant for today’s digital-first customers.

What will 2020 mean for the financial sector?

In 2020, I see the so-called ‘traditional banks’ becoming even more like fintechs in the way that they think and operate. Banks like Bangkok Bank, will also continue to invest in technology to improve all customer touchpoints. From mobile, ATMs, to branches and the contact centre. This will allow banks to create a truly personalised and excellent customer experience.

For Bangkok Bank, 2020 will see us remain a trusted friend and will increasingly bring the bank to the customer, not the customer to the bank. We also plan to use APIs to fit into customer ecosystems, in addition to providing a superior ecosystem ourselves.