CIO50 2019: #17 Krating Poonpol, KBank
Kasikorn Bank (KBank) is a prominent bank in Thailand and a leader in digital banking, driven by the creation of the Kasikorn Business Technology Group (KBTG).
KBTG is tasked with enhancing IT management and service efficiency, as well as promoting fintech competitiveness and maintaining business leadership.
One of KBank’s key innovations - developed and spearheaded by KBTG, with Krating Poonpol as chairman - is the KPlus mobile banking platform. Housing roughly 12 million mobile banking users and two million mobile merchants, KPlus is Thailand’s biggest mobile banking platform.
Having been in use for more than five years, total users climbed to over 60 pert cent of the bank’s 15 million customers by late 2018, with plans now in place to introduce a new open platform through an artificial intelligence (AI) powered version of KPlus.
The new version incorporates three core changes, including a new logo and menu rearrangement to be “in sync” with the digital age.
This is alongside the introduction of a single transaction button designed to simplify use of money transfers, top ups, payments and other transactions, as well as the development of personalisation features capable of analysing customer behaviour through big data.
Plans to transform KPlus from an application into an intelligence platform are driven by a desire to present the “right experience for each customer” across the country, leveraging AI and cloud to achieve such aspirations.
For example, the KPlus Today function will alert customers of important transactions and promotional recommendations, while machine learning will leverage customer data and analytics to offer tailored loans to match customer demands.
To cope with expansion challenges, the business selected Firebase Cloud Messaging to handle all mobile banking notifications, which provides cross-platform message solution at scale.
KBank also migrated the KPlus notification stack to Google Cloud to improve integration, reduce latency and increase scalability. To facilitate the move, the organisation re-designed its messaging service to be cloud-native based on container technology as well as Google Cloud components such as Google Kubernetes Engine and Cloud Storage.