Decentralized finance (DeFi) has not gone unnoticed in recent times, as Thailand’s Kasikornbank (KBank) has become the latest firm to venture into this aspect of the crypto industry.
Bangkok Post reported today that the bank will be exploring DeFi tech intending to grow its business in the Southeast Asian region.
According to the report, KBank’s DeFi move will be headed by Kasikorn Business Technology Group (KBTG), the bank’s business unit, to explore key ways it can expand its operations in the region.
Commenting on the development, Ruangroj Poonpol, chairman of KBTG, said delving deep into DeFi was important to the bank’s 2021 objective.
Poonpol added that DeFi’s use in the traditional financial sector will create better avenues for Thais, as well as other Southeast Asian countries, to gain access to better financial services.
The KBTG chairman added that asset-backed DeFi is crucial in creating economic value for not only the country but the region at large.
“The project is being explored through KBTG under the second phase of the company’s digital transformation program,” Poonpol added.
KBank’s Digital Transformation Agenda
Following the rapid growth of customers’ appetite for digital financial services, KBank flagged off the first phase of its digital transformation agenda, which ran from 2018 to 2020.
It noted at the time that the initiative would help it stay ahead of the wave of digital disruption sweeping the country.
To fully satisfy customers’ demands, KBank revealed it would spend up to Bt5 billion (appr. $159 million) in IT development to provide advanced digital banking services.
Furthermore, KBank said it expects loan growth to spike by 5 to 7% in 2021 as the global economy recovers from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Based on the expected growth in loan requests, KBank disclosed plans to launch the DeFi lending service.
KBank Moves to Retain Its Customers
Earlier this year, KBank disclosed that the rate at which traditional retail investors create new accounts for crypto trading purposes had increased tremendously.
According to joint data published by the bank alongside NH Nonghyup Bank and Shinhan Bank, new crypto investors created nearly 1.4 million accounts in January alone, given the unending opportunities associated with cryptos.
While banks have seen several of their customers move into the crypto space, KBank hopes to also use its DeFi exploration initiative to retain its clients.
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