Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has revealed that its mobile app, SCB Easy, now uses Ripple’s blockchain technology. The app, which was first launched in November 2017, offers low-cost, cross-border payment functionality to six million customers and is available to Siam Bank’s 16 million customers.
According to a recent blog post, the integration was announced at the Swell 2019 conference hosted by Ripple in Singapore and SCB Easy’s potential user base encompasses more than two-thirds of Thailand’s residents. SCB’s senior vice president of commercial banking, Arthit Sriumporn, highlighted that eight of the top ten countries using mobile payments are located in Asia. As for Thailand, 67% of its population are reportedly active users of various mobile payment applications.
“It is so difficult to send and receive money today. People must physically go to a bank branch, fill out long and complicated forms and wait for payments to be received—with no transparency. With our service, their loved ones from abroad can transfer payment and receive money immediately,” said Sriumporn.
The Google Play Store says the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times. According to SCB Easy’s description in Apple’s App Store, more than six million people use the app.
Siam Bank is already planning to expand its business into Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam during the course of 2020.
At the same time, Siam Bank is also working with Ripple on a new cross-border QR payment system. It will supposedly come in handy for tourists visiting Thailand since it will not only offer its customers remittance services but also micro-payments as well.
“Imagine you are a tourist coming to Thailand, and you can use your home country mobile application to scan for payment and eliminate the need to exchange for local currency. You can use your mobile app, scan the QR payment and receive goods right away,” Sriumporn added.
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With this project, Ripple continues to establish business relationships with various traditional banks around the world. As Decrypt reported last December, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has also made a bold prediction for 2020 on the state of cryptocurrency adoption. He estimated that starting this year, significantly more top institutions will enter the digital assets industry. But Siam Bank, though Thailand’s oldest bank, was already a Ripple partner—so that doesn’t count.