Thailand’s third biggest bank by assets says one of its fintech units has the potential to be a “unicorn” and exceed a $1 billion valuation.
“We will spin off some of [the fintech units] to allow them more freedom and independence, including raising their own funds from other investors,” says SCB’s co-president and chief digital transformation officer Orapong Thien-Ngern.
Potential units up for being spun into fresh start-ups include its corporate venture capital arm Digital Ventures and its payments services provider National ITMX.
Calling technology investment and venture capital “key survival strategies” for the Thai bank, Thien-Ngern is well aware of the slight consumer pool which makes the country’s banking sector “a sunsetting industry”.
Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), part of the MUFG group, has also focused its attention of developing fintech opportunities. The bank launched the ‘Krungsri Blockchain Interledger’ this month, which offers real-time fund transfers between Thailand and Laos – the hope being it will boost trade between the two countries.