Thailand to consider applications for virtual banks

Tuesday 5 March 2024 11:00 CET | News

Authorities from Thailand have decided to accept applications for virtual banks in a bid to support people with limited access to financial services.


Thailand is set to open applications for virtual banks within the coming six months, aiming to extend financial services to individuals with limited or no access.

According to the ministry's statement, applicants must demonstrate substantial experience and resources to sustain commercial banking operations. The evaluation process, jointly conducted by the central bank and the finance ministry, will take up to nine months following the application deadline. Successful applicants are required to establish and commence operations within one year, as outlined by the ministry.

Although there's no specified limit on the number of licences, authorities will assess applications based on their impact on the Thai financial system. According to a report from financial services company Macquarie in May 2022, 50% Thailand’s population has no access to financial products, while 18% remains underbanked. reports that multiple banks in the country have previously expressed their intention to establish a virtual bank, such as SCBX, which partnered with KakaoBank to pursue the licence in June 2023. This collaboration echoed similar endeavours by entities such as Grab and Singtel, as well as Standard Chartered and FairPrice Group in Singapore to form GXS Bank and Trust Bank, respectively.


Authorities from Thailand have decided to accept applications for virtual banks in a bid to support people with limited access to financial services.


More information about virtual banks in Thailand

The Bank of Thailand describes virtual banks as a new type of commercial banks that will be introduced in Thailand. The primary characteristic of virtual banks is that they must not set up physical branches and offer services mainly through the digital channel.

The Bank of Thailand has conducted two public consultations to formulate the licencing framework for virtual banks. The first consultation was conducted between January and February 2023 while the second lasted from June to July 2023.

The second consultation revealed a selection of key qualifications for virtual bank applicants, which included the use of agile, secure, resilient, and high availability technology and IT system, as well as the ability to access, manage, and utilise diverse types of data.

Moreover, to tackle the issue of conflict of interest, no director, person with power of management, or advisor of a virtual bank may concurrently serve as a director, person with power of management, or employee of another financial institution.

More: Link

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Keywords: online banking, digital banking, financial inclusion, financial services
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: Bank of Thailand
Countries: Thailand
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech

Bank of Thailand

Discover all the Company news on Bank of Thailand and other articles related to Bank of Thailand in The Paypers News, Reports, and insights on the payments and fintech industry: