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BoT plans to launch virtual banks by 2025

BANGKOK: The Bank of Thailand estimates that the country’s first virtual banks will begin offering their services in 2025, as part of their plan to encourage competitiveness, expand loan access, and reduce costs for clients and businesses.

By National News Bureau of Thailand

Thursday 19 January 2023, 10:14AM

Image: NBT

Image: NBT

BoT assistant governor Tharith Panpiemras stated that the central bank will issue licenses in 2024 before services begin in 2025, reports state news agency NNT.

He stated that applications will be available later this quarter and that 10 entities have already expressed interest in applying for the permits.

In addition to not being authorised to open physical branches or operate their own ATMs, virtual banks will provide full-service banking to customers and will be subject to the same regulations and supervision as traditional commercial banks. 

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While there are currently no independent virtual banks in Thailand, financial institutions such as Kasikornbank, Bangkok Bank and others have already made investments and offer digital services such as online accounts and payments.

Mr Tharith said that these virtual banks will help strengthen the overall banking system by encouraging companies to improve their services and drive innovation in order to retain consumers. He added that virtual banks can also expand their services to new clients at lower costs, which would benefit all customers.

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