In Thailand, up to 63% of Thai adult population are either unbanked or underbanked. These include lower income consumers or micro or small medium businesses operating outside the banking system.
According to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), financial inclusion ranks high in eight of the agency’s 17 goals, with an emphasis on equitable access to basic financial services and affordable credit. This is aligned with the Thai government’s agenda to ensure access to the banking system and financial services for 30+ million Thai people through the implementation of modern digital technologies.
Founded in 2020 in Bangkok, MONIX Co., Ltd. is the fintech brainchild of SCB X Group and China's fintech unicorn Abakus Group. Combining the innovative, tech and user experience prowess of both financial institutions, MONIX was set up to bring about what other legacy institutions in Thailand haven't been able to accomplish: financial inclusion at scale.
“Thailand has a large portion of people that do not have access to legal funds. This is also the same people that are digitally-savvy and offer a lot of potential for take-up of our innovative financial products – so we wanted to do the right thing by making lending easier and more accessible for them with the user-friendly FINNIX app," said Arche Zhou, Product Director of MONIX.
The FINNIX mobile app, which is regulated by the Bank of Thailand, offers 24/7 micro-finance loans through a 100% digital process from loan application to approval and disbursement. With over 7.5 million downloads and an app review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, it is now the #1 digital lending app on Google Play Store and Apple App Store in Thailand. Thai consumers who previously didn’t have a bank account before can easily apply for credit in under five minutes with simply their smartphone and an Internet connection. The FINNIX app has since disbursed over 10 billion Thai baht.
Treading the fine balance between security and a quick but simple customer onboarding experience, MONIX partnered with Singapore-based AI firm ADVANCE.AI to power their electronic KYC (Know Your Customer) user journey. Steps included a quick selfie using the smartphone’s camera along with a scan of the Thai national ID card to authenticate the user’s identity. All this can be completed in under 60 seconds.
“Trust is very important in the fintech industry. In this way, authentication is important, so we need to make sure we have the right tools to really know our customers. On the other hand, we need our customers to trust us with the information they shared with us.” said Chalinee Boonsongsup, Product Owner of MONIX.
“We want our customers to know they are in safe hands, especially since many of them have been excluded from the financial system. It's important that they trust our product and company. ADVANCE.AI's eKYC solution, which makes use of cutting-edge artificial intelligence (AI) technology, not only helps us abide by regulatory biometric requirements – it works for those underbanked people," Arche added.
Mohammed Fouladi, Regional Head of Customer Value Proposition, of ADVANCE.AI, said, “We really value the deep and mutual partnership with the MONIX team, and how we are able to support the unbanked and underbanked segments in Thailand get access to much needed credit. With advances in artificial intelligence, the traditional customer onboarding, compliance and credit decisioning process can be entirely re-designed in a way that is simple, convenient but secure for both the end-consumer and the financial institution. The urgent challenge for financial institutions (FIs) is to think and decide how AI can shape and modernize the customer’s post-pandemic banking experience.”