South Korean Tech Giant Enters the Thai Fintech Market

October 2023

The subsidiaries of South Korean tech giant Kakao Corp are making successfully inroads in the Thai market. Kakao Pay just started offering its payment services in the country, following KakaoBank’s partnering with Thailand’s leading financial group to pursue a virtual banking license in the Southeast Asian country.

Kakao Pay’s mobile and online payment is already available at over 3,000 shops, pharmacies and including large department stores such as Central Retail, Thailand’s largest retail group.

Kakao Pay will also be available at Grab, a super app that provides a range of services from mobility to finance in Southeast Asia. It will be possible to use Kakao Pay when a customer makes reservations for taxis or other vehicles.

KakaoBank, the internet-only mobile banking subsidiary of Kakao, has also targeted Thailand as its first overseas expansion. In June 2023, KakaoBank signed an agreement with SCBX, a major Thai financial holding company, for a partnership aimed at obtaining a virtual banking license in Thailand. SCBX is the parent company of Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), and it is one of the top three banks in the country operating nearly 700 branches nationwide.

It has been reported that SCBX and KakaoBank are currently exploring opportunities to identify other strategic partners that can help obtaining a license to operate a virtual banking business in Thailand.

(Source: The Korea Times)

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