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Moody's: Rise in digital transactions in Thailand is credit positive for banks

Moody's said that the continuous rise in the volume of internet and mobile banking transactions in Thailand is credit positive for the country's banks.

The rating agency said Feb. 26 that Thai consumers' rising preference for digital transactions demonstrates the initial success of banks' digital strategies, which will eventually allow the lenders to rationalize their branch networks and improve cost efficiencies.

The rating agency's comments follow the release of Bank of Thailand data indicating a surge in the use of mobile and internet banking in the country. According to the data, mobile and internet banking accounted for 33% of total payment transaction volumes for the first nine months of 2017, up from 8% in 2010.

In value terms, mobile and internet banking accounted for 23.4 trillion baht in the first nine months of 2017, a 22% compounded annual increase in value since 2010.

The rating agency said that the rise in the usage of digital banking channels since 2015 reflects banks' increasing focus on digital strategies. It added that the widespread use of digital banking channels will allow Thai banks to gradually expand their products beyond current transactional products and increase interest income.