Jessica Goodfellow
Dec 16, 2021

Publicis and Siam Commercial Bank joint venture aims to bring banks into digital age

The platform-as-a-service business will provide consultancy and tech solutions to financial institutions, to help them reinvent how they engage with their customers online.

SCB Tech X logo
SCB Tech X logo

Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has teamed up with Publicis Sapient for a joint venture that will provide technology solutions, consulting and digital platform development to financial institutions.

SCB Tech X will leverage the bank's expertise in building technology platforms to help other financial institutions "reinvent how they engage with their customers in an increasingly digital-first world". SCB launched a food delivery platform in Thailand called Robinhood in 2020, and plans to raise funds and launch new services in the app next year to build it into a regional superapp.

The joint venture will provide commercial institutions with expertise in banking services, such as loan products and checking and savings accounts, as well as non-banking services like food delivery, health-and-wellness content, and online travel booking.

The platform-as-a-service business has been launched as a subsidiary of the SCB Group. SCB holds 60% of the joint venture, with Publicis Sapient holding the remaining. The joint venture has kicked off with 1,200 employees collectively.

SCB Tech X forms part of SCB Group's strategy to transition from a traditional bank into a regional financial technology group under its planned new parent, SCB X. It is aiming to be a dominant fintech platform player in the ASEAN region within the next five years, with a goal of 200 million customers.

Long-time SCB executive Trirat Suwanprateeb was appointed CEO of the subsidiary in October. The former IBM IT specialist joined SCB in 2011 and has played a crucial role in developing the bank’s technology infrastructure in his role as CTO, the company said.

Publicis Sapient Southeast Asia MD Jonathan Sharp has joined the new venture as CTO.

Nigel Vaz, CEO of Publicis Sapient, said SCB Tech X is "paving the way for a new class of technology companies built with the express purpose of helping financial institutions and other industries reinvent how they provide value to their customers".

"This is a pivotal moment for personal finance and ecommerce globally, but particularly in Southeast Asia, where the market is growing exponentially, " Vaz said. "Our collaboration with SCB brings to bear the talent, expertise and world-class technology of both organizations and results in a new business that operates at the speed of a digital native and is poised to usher in the next generation of banking."

Digital payments are predicted to exceed US$1 trillion in transaction value by 2025 in Southeast Asia, according to a study conducted by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company.

Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun said the deal demonstrates Publicis Sapient's ability to partner with its clients to "deliver innovative business solutions and scale in new, fast-growing geographies".

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