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Global Management Forum 2020

Thailand's 20-minute lender disrupts kingdom's financial industry

SCB Abacus mines transit lines, e-tailers and telcos for big data

As an economist at Siam Commercial Bank, Sutapa Amornvivat persuaded her bosses to open a subsidiary to disrupt its own industry lest it become disrupted itself.

BANGKOK -- A Thai megabank's AI-powered subsidiary is out to promote financial inclusion now that it has successfully ridden high on the strongest headwind many industries have faced in more than a decade, the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Fairly positive in a strange way," SCB Abacus CEO Sutapa Amornvivat said in describing the impact of the global crisis. "We were certainly concerned with caution because we knew the economy would be hard hit by this. That applies to lenders universally, whether we are digital or not. But because we have digitized, it allowed us to open up [a market segment] traditional players cannot access."

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