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BAY earmarks B800m for app budget

Mr Thakorn (left), and Worachat Luxkanalode, senior vice-president of BAY, pose with a mock-up of KMA.

Bank of Ayudhya (BAY), the country's fifth largest bank by assets, targets 150% growth for its mobile banking transactions, setting a budget of 800 million baht to invest in the platform this year.

The bank aims for annual mobile banking transactions to increase to 2.5 billion this year from 1 billion last year, said Thakorn Piyapan, head of digital banking and innovation.

BAY plans to spend 800 million baht on Krungsri Mobile App (KMA), covering both technology and human resources to support the ambitious target, he said.

BAY also wants to double KMA users to 5 million this year, and add both financial and non-financial services.

"The bank has prepared capacity to cope with more than double the transactions on mobile banking. We will also monitor consumer behaviour on the digital platform following more features. Customers are expected to spend longer on the mobile banking app, 4-5 minutes on average, up from three minutes," said Mr Thakorn.

BAY plans to unveil auto and mortgage loans on its app in the second and third quarter, respectively, after credit cards and personal loans became available last year.

The bank hopes for 3 billion baht in new digital loans this year.

BAY expects to raise its digital lending approval rate to around 15% of total loan applications this year from 5% last year.

Digital banking transactions via KMA represented 80% of the bank's total financial transactions in 2018, rising from 68% in 2017. Meanwhile, ATM and branch transactions declined to 15% and 5%, respectively, in 2018 from 20% and 12%, respectively, in 2017.

Mr Thakorn said the bank plans to launch a deposit account opening service via KMA this quarter, waiting for implementation of both the digital ID, which is testing in the central bank's regulatory sandbox, and National Digital ID.

The account opening service would extend to mutual funds, equities and insurance later.

BAY shares closed yesterday on the SET at 38 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 11.3 million baht.

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