Thai lender KASIKORNBANK (KBank) has announced plans to invest more than THB2.7bn ($75m) in a bid to become the regional digital bank. 

KBank is fortifying its service network to cash on the post-Covid economic recovery within the AEC+3 (ASEAN plus Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea).

As part of the plan, the bank is broadening its presence in the Vietnamese market, aiming to build a loan book worth THB20bn and a retail customer base of 1.2 million by 2023, while expanding its portfolio of products and services.

During the next three years, the lender aims to focus on the development of technologies and manpower, investment in startups and business acquisition in key strategic areas.

As part of the THB2.7bn budget, the Thailand-based bank aims to build business networks embedded with the DNA of a ‘challenger bank’ to cater to local users digitally. 

KBank CEO Kattiya Indaravijaya noted that other than the recovering economy, the region’s large marketplace and growing young population is driving its economy. 

Indaravijaya anticipates that the bloc’s economy will witness exponential growth as more and more consumers lead a digital life. 

“Against this backdrop, KBank has set its sights on expanding our services within the region in a bid to provide greater opportunity for Thai businesses while delivering a positive customer experience to local retail and business clients, ensuring that they will gain improved access to transactional banking and loan services for broader service coverage,” Indaravijaya added.

KBank president Pipit Aneaknithi stated that the Thai lender aims to be the first foreign bank in Vietnam to offer full-fledged ‘digital product solutions’ to customers of segments.

The services will be offered through banking channels and partner platforms. 

In May this year, KBank announced plans to buy a majority stake in Indonesia’s Bank Maspion in a deal valued at $220m (BKK7.5bn).