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Visa’s vision on Generative AI and the Future of Payments

28. September 2023

Visa envisions generative AI as a transformative force poised to revolutionize the financial services industry in the coming years.  Les mer >>>

Alibaba Cloud unveils new services to solve Generative AI development issues

27. September 2023

Alibaba Cloud, today announced a series of innovative AI products and services at the 2023 Alibaba Cloud Global Summit. Les mer >>>

BOT, Google and TB-CERT launches the #31Days31Tips campaign

27. September 2023

In light of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), Google Thailand, and TB-CERT launched the #31Days31Tips campaign Les mer >>>

AIS, ZTE and MediaTek firstly verified 5G RedCap at 2.6Ghz in Southeast Asia.

27. September 2023

AIS (Advanced Info Service), ZTE Corporation (ZTE) and MediaTek accomplished the first collaborative validation of 5G RedCap in 2.6Ghz Les mer >>>

LINE Thailand Announce a big step towards an “open platform for Thais”

26. September 2023

For the first time in Thailand, LINE Thailand is organizing the LINE Conference Thailand 2023, or #LCT23, along with announcing the vision Les mer >>>

KBTG invites everyone to “Let’s Get M.A.D.” in order to thrive and succeed in the AI era.

26. September 2023

AI is one of the urgent agendas for the world, apart from climate change, which will bring about significant changes and impact a large number of people globally, including Thailand.  Les mer >>>

Thailand, Southeast Asia told to focus on their retail and digital strength

26. September 2023

Southeast Asia, and Thailand in particular, should focus on retail and digital industries that they excel globally, says a veteran expert Les mer >>>

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  • Visa’s vision on Generative AI and the Future of Payments
    Visa envisions generative AI as a transformative force poised to revolutionize the financial services industry in the coming years. 

    Visa envisions generative AI as a transformative force poised to revolutionize the financial services industry in the coming years. 

    This technological powerhouse promises to usher in a myriad of changes, each promising a more efficient, secure, and customer-centric financial landscape.

    In an increasingly interconnected world, data is the foundation of innovation and progress. No company understands this better than Visa, the largest payment network in the world. Visa is unparalleled exposure to massive volumes of data every day is a reflection of its pivotal role in powering the global economy.

    Currently, Visa operates 4.2 billion cards worldwide, connections to 15,000 financial institutions, and the processing of a staggering 269 billion payment transactions annually, leverages its data-driven prowess to shape the future of payments across more than 200 countries and territories and in over 100 million merchant locations worldwide.

    Kunal Chatterjee, Head of Innovation for Asia Pacific at Visa said that Visa’s visionary explorations with Generative AI have revealed its immense potential to shape the future of payments. It is seen as a robust tool, with the power to automate tasks, personalize customer experiences, combat fraud, and create innovative payment methods.

    Visa sees generative AI transforming the financial services industry in the coming years in a number of ways including:

    • Personalized customer experiences: Generative AI personalizes customer experiences, offering tailored financial advice and product recommendations. This boosts customer understanding, leading to enhanced satisfaction and loyalty for financial institutions.
    • Fraud detection and prevention: Generative AI is a potent tool for fraud detection and prevention. It excels in spotting suspicious patterns and generating synthetic data for advanced fraud detection models. This fortifies financial institutions, protecting both customers and payments ecosystem.
    • Risk management: Generative AI is key in risk management. This empowers financial institutions to improve decision-making, manage risk effectively, and proactively prevent losses, ensuring financial security.
    • Product development: Generative AI fuels financial innovation, crafting new products and services. Its creativity and feasibility assessment empower institutions to stay competitive and meet evolving customer needs in a dynamic market.

    Visa actively explores technology for operational enhancement. It is testing generative AI to improve customer experience and efficiency. While not fully integrated, Generative AI holds the potential for task automation, personalized experiences, fraud detection, innovative payments, and advanced fraud prevention. Visa is poised to leverage this transformative tool.

    “We believe that generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the payment industry. It can help to make payments more secure, convenient, and efficient. It can also help to create new payment methods that meet the changing needs of customers, said Chatterjee.

    At Visa, its mission is to be the best way to pay and be paid for everyone, everywhere. It sees Generative AI as a means to achieve this by crafting personalized and innovative customer solutions.

    “Yet, it remains dedicated to its approach to innovation, which emphasizes client focus and preserving a human touch in our services,” said Chatterjee.

    The company rigorously validate and test solutions by assessing its ability to address customer needs, enhance payments, and ensure security, privacy, and ethical data usage standards.

    Visa is in the early stages of implementing Generative AI, and while quantifying its full impact remains challenging, there are some early indicators considered. 

    “We track improved operational efficiency through generative AI automation of tasks like customer support, risk management, and fraud detection. Monitoring time tracking data and assessing employee productivity allows us to gauge the effectiveness of these AI tools, ultimately reducing costs and enhancing efficiency,” said Chatterjee.

    Transformation comes with challenges

    However, embracing generative AI presents challenges beyond data privacy. A challenge lies in data quality and bias. Generative AI tools depend on the quality of the data they receive. If the underlying data is flawed, biased, or incomplete, it directly affects the quality, accuracy, and potential usefulness of the outputs.

    Secondly, Generative AI presents intellectual property challenges. Extending creativity to machines raises questions about content ownership and copyright. Determining ownership and liability in cases of copyright infringement becomes crucial.

    Thirdly, misuse is a significant concern. AI models can be used to create harmful or misleading content, such as deepfakes, fake news, or spam. Therefore, effective monitoring and prevention are vital.

    Generative AI models create content from learned data but suffer from a lack of transparency in decision-making, termed the ‘black box’ problem. This opacity is particularly critical in finance, where decisions require accuracy and fairness, raising concerns related to trust, ethics, and regulation. Ongoing research aims to enhance AI transparency and accountability, yet explaining ability remains a significant challenge.

    Furthermore, the absence of industry-wide standards complicates generative AI adoption, making it challenging to ensure responsible usage and compare model efficacy without such standards.

    “Yet, I feel these challenges are steps towards learning and refining how we harness the power of AI,” said Chatterjee.

    The future trends

    He said that Visa sees the value of generative AI across a spectrum of business functions within payments including new and innovative applications; the development of new ethical frameworks; the specific applications in payments; and the potential in payments to enhance digital identity.

    “We expect to see even more innovative applications emerge in the future, such as using generative AI to develop new payment products and services or to improve the way we interact with the world around us. It is important to develop new ethical frameworks for its use. These frameworks must address issues such as bias, privacy, and misuse,” said Chatterjee.

    Moreover, the company also explores using generative AI in enhancing digital identity such as commercializing anonymized insights from vast data repositories and using generative AI for content recommendation that provides precise customer segmentation and recommends better personalized content based on the user’s personal preferences.

    “We believe that generative AI has the potential to transform payments in various ways, and we are keeping a close eye on these trends to ensure that we are at the forefront of innovation in this area,” said Chatterjee.

    28 September 2023
  • Alibaba Cloud unveils new services to solve Generative AI development issues
    Alibaba Cloud, today announced a series of innovative AI products and services at the 2023 Alibaba Cloud Global Summit.

    Alibaba Cloud, today announced a series of innovative AI products and services at the 2023 Alibaba Cloud Global Summit. The comprehensive set of new products are designed to meet the burgeoning demand for Generative AI development from customers worldwide.

    The extensive AI solutions from Alibaba Cloud, spanning from AI computing platforms to AI acceleration services and AI-centric applications, are designed to assist customers in creating their own Generative AI applications in a more efficient, security-focused, and cost-effective manner.

    Selina Yuan, President of International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group, said: “To cater for the thriving demand for generative AI, we are constantly introducing innovative products and services to tackle different pain points of our global customers. Our comprehensive AI services are designed to help customers seize the unparalleled opportunities offered by this unstoppable technology trend.”

    “As part of our commitment to foster more inclusive and innovative application development for generative AI, we have been joining forces with industry leaders to further extend our capabilities for different scenarios, ” added Yuan.

    Comprehensive AI Services for Generative AI Development

    • To reduce AI process complexity, Alibaba Cloud introduced PAI-Lingjun Intelligent Computing Service, a comprehensive AI computing platform for high-performance computing tasks, such as foundation model training and inference. It offers large-scale deep learning and intelligent computing capabilities on Alibaba Cloud. The service also provides full-process AI engineering capabilities, including AI development, AI training, AI role management, and computing resource management. The platform, already in use in Mainland China, will be available in Singapore from early 2024, followed by more general availability across Asia throughout the year.
    • To accelerate AI model training and inference, Alibaba Cloud launched Alibaba Cloud AI Acceleration Solution, which uses leading datasets and hardware accelerators to manage data-intensive applications, optimizing the utilization of computing instances to expedite AI model training and inference tasks. According to the Stanford DAWN Deep Learning Benchmark, it can speed up AI model training by 70% and inference by up to three times. The solution includes layers for cloud-native AI suite, AI job scheduling, AI data acceleration, AI computing acceleration engine, resource scheduling, and computing resources, with each layer offering specific acceleration solutions for different scenarios.
    • To simplify building AI-based search service, Alibaba Cloud unveiledOpenSearch LLM-Based Conversational Search, its proprietary large-scale distributed search engine that enables intelligent search services in e-commerce, multimedia, social media, and big data queries in enterprises. Empowered by large language models, the service allows enterprises to rapidly build a dedicated conversational search system, ensuring security, accuracy, and reliability in search results. It also supports multimodal search results such as answers, URLs, and images to cater to specific business search requirements.

    Technology Partnership to Foster Innovative Application Development

    Alibaba Cloud announced a series of partnerships with global technology leaders to offer customers more advanced and security-focused cloud services, accelerating their digital transformation journey:

    To promote innovative application development for enterprises, Alibaba Cloud collaborates      with Red Hat to make Red Hat OpenShift, a platform for building, deploying and managing applications at scale, deployable on Alibaba Cloud. Red Hat OpenShift on Alibaba Cloud combines the industry’s leading hybrid cloud application platform powered by Kubernetes with Alibaba Cloud’s robust hybrid infrastructure. Optimized with full-stack automated operations, it offers a more consistent experience across environments to help customers boost productivity more effectively.

    Accelerate Digital Transformation for Global Customers

    Alibaba Cloud also announced collaborations with enterprise customers in markets including Malaysia, South Korea, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates, underscoring its unwavering commitment to its over 4 million global customers in exploring new opportunities presented by digital transformation and new AI trends.

    Amazon’s AI move – why you need AI investments as race speeds up

    Dell Technologies’ research: 31% of organizations in Thailand are innovating effectively

    27 September 2023
    Alibaba Cloud
  • BOT, Google and TB-CERT launches the #31Days31Tips campaign
    In light of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), Google Thailand, and TB-CERT launched the #31Days31Tips campaign

    In light of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), Google Thailand, and Thailand Banking Sector Computer Emergency Response Team (TB-CERT) under the Thai Bankers Association collaboratively launched the #31Days31Tips campaign aimed to help Thai people stay safe online through a series of fun and shareable bite-sized tips. Throughout October, the three organizations will share a new online safety tip each day on their respective social media platforms. 

    Online scams remain an ongoing issue in Thailand. According to data from the Cyber Crime Investigation Bureau, online scams can come in various forms but the most common ones are online shopping scams, luring job seekers to transfer money, loan scams, and investment scams. This resulted in financial damage amounting to over 9 billion baht in the past five months alone (March 17 – August 25, 2023). With more Thais falling victim to online scams, this collaboration will help make online scam warnings more accessible to the public with accurate, useful, and easy-to-understand information that is shareable via various social media platforms to ensure that people stay safe online.      

    Jackie Wang, Country Director, Google Thailand, said, “At Google, making technology for everyone means protecting everyone who uses it. And to celebrate Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, we are launching the #31Days31Tips campaign to equip Thai people with online safety tips and tools they can share with people they care about. This campaign is part of Google’s commitment to making the internet a safer place for everyone through three strategic pillars: Products that are secure by default with built-in protections, Tools, where users are in control of their personal information with tools such as Security Checkup, Privacy Checkup and Password Manager, and Programs that teach Thai people how to stay safe online, so that they can explore the online world with confidence.

    The #31Days31Tips campaign is built on our “Safer Songkran” campaign under the Safer with Google program held back in April, in which we encouraged people to share their concerns and promote online safety for themselves and their families.”

    Chayawadee Chai-Anant, Assistant Governor Corporate Relations Group and spokesperson of the Bank of Thailand (BOT), said, “This collaboration emphasizes ongoing efforts from BOT to combat financial fraud and scams through knowledge and information sharing so that Thai people are well equipped with digital literacy skills. It is important to help people become more vigilant to protect themselves and stay safe from online threats. It is also in line with the financial fraud prevention measures  that BOT implemented earlier this year, for example, by asking commercial banks to stop sending an SMS with links and requesting minimum requirements for biometric authentication. We also cooperate with related agencies to follow the Royal Decree on Cyber Crime Prevention and Suppression.” 

    Dr. Kitti Kosavisutte, Chairman of Thailand Banking Sector Computer Emergency Response Team (TB-CERT), said, “With the current way of life in the digital age, we are surrounded by technology at every moment of our lives, whether it’s for communication, entertainment, health, and work. It makes our daily life convenient while also changing how we consume media. That is why it is important that people are aware of cyber threats. TB-CERT has partnered with many agencies to tackle cyber threats and share relevant information regularly, which is one of the main measures for our society. This cooperation is a significant step toward strengthening Thai society against various forms of complicated and ever-changing fraud and cyber threats.”  

    The #31Days31Tips campaign will provide content about tips and tools for online safety across social media platforms of the Bank of Thailand, Google and TB-CERT throughout the month of October. The content will cover four areas, including how to Secure Your Online Accounts, Stay away from Scams/Fraud, Check the Facts/Spot the Misinformation, and Safeguard Online Privacy.

    Thailand, Southeast Asia told to focus on their retail and digital strength

    LINE Thailand Announce a big step towards an “open platform for Thais”

    27 September 2023
  • AIS, ZTE and MediaTek firstly verified 5G RedCap at 2.6Ghz in Southeast Asia.
    AIS (Advanced Info Service), ZTE Corporation (ZTE) and MediaTek accomplished the first collaborative validation of 5G RedCap in 2.6Ghz

    AIS (Advanced Info Service), ZTE Corporation (ZTE) and MediaTek accomplished the first collaborative validation of 5G RedCap in 2.6Ghz in Southeast Asia. This milestone signifies the further expansion and application of RedCap technology in the global market, ushering in new possibilities for the development of the global cellular Internet of Things (IoT). At the same time, this collaboration will further promote the development of RedCap global ecosystem and provide the foundation for the global commercial deployment of RedCap.

    RedCap: Bridging the Future

    RedCap, short for Reduced Capability, sometimes referred to as NR Light, is an innovative technology in the 3GPP R17 standard, which obtains the advantages of low-cost and low-power by reducing terminal complexity and inherit 5G unique capabilities such as larger bandwidth, network slicing, and low latency, providing a highly cost-effective cellular IoT solution. 

    The RedCap validation was successfully completed at the AZ Innovation Center in Bangkok through the close collaboration of AIS, ZTE and MediaTek. The tests were executed under AIS’s commercial 5G spectrum TDD (Time Division Duplex) 2.6GHz, including the test cases such as network access, mobility, and voice services. The comprehensive mobility tests were conducted, ensuring that RedCap technology offers users smoother communication experiences. The First Call for VoNR services validated RedCap’s ability to provide users with clearer and more natural calling experiences. The throughput test outcomes consistently achieved theoretical peak values. The downlink rate of a single user in TDD network can reach 163Mbps using 20MHz bandwidth. In addition, based on ZTE’s NodeEngine solution which is the industry-only computing power base station, it can provide RedCap users with an end-to-end low latency experience of about 10ms.The test verified the compatibility of MediaTek’s forthcoming RedCap platforms with ZTE’s wireless systems for AIS 5G commercial spectrum and paved the way for RedCap deployment in commercial 5G network.

    Tripartite Collaboration Shapes Future Prospects

    The success of this testing hinges on the close collaboration of the three parties. AIS, a leading Southeast Asian mobile operator, contributed ample network resources. ZTE, as a leading communication solutions provider, provided an end-to-end testing environment. MediaTek, as the world’s largest smartphone chipset supplier, supplied its highly efficient RedCap platform for use during the test. The collaboration of the three parties not only achieved success at the technical level but also laid a solid foundation for deeper cooperation in the 5G realm.

    Outlook for the Future

    The collaboration between ZTE Corporation, MediaTek, and AIS is not merely a validation of innovative technology; it serves as a vivid example of international cooperation in the communication domain. This successful testing establishes a sturdy foundation for the application of RedCap technology in Thailand and charts new pathways for the global development of 5G new technology. In the future, the three parties will continue to deepen their collaboration, exploring more innovative applications to offer users more convenient, efficient, and intelligent communication experiences.

    27 September 2023
    The Movement
  • LINE Thailand Announce a big step towards an “open platform for Thais”
    For the first time in Thailand, LINE Thailand is organizing the LINE Conference Thailand 2023, or #LCT23, along with announcing the vision

    For the first time in Thailand, LINE Thailand is organizing the LINE Conference Thailand 2023, or #LCT23, along with announcing the vision, direction, and strategies for developing and implementing new LINE technology in the upcoming year. They aim to become an “open platform for Thais,” providing opportunities for seamless technology integration while emphasizing Thai user understanding, partnerships, and developers. This underscores their role as a life infrastructure in the digital era.

    Dr. Phichet Rerkpreecha, Chief Executive Officer of LINE Thailand, revealed that in over 12 years, LINE Thailand has become an integral part of people’s daily lives, pursuing the mission of “Closing the Distance” through a platform and services used by over 54 million people. They are committed to strengthening the local developer community to drive innovations for a Smart Country using Hyper-Localized technology, enabling Thais to grow digitally in a stable and sustainable manner.

    LINE Thailand hosts LINE Conference Thailand 2023. Announce a big step towards an "open platform for Thais"

    GROUP CHAT to stay firm with Group Work solutions on LINE

    Norasit Sitivechvichit, Chief Operating Officer of LINE Thailand, also highlighted the continued development of the basic ‘chat’ service, particularly LINE GROUP CHAT, which is highly popular among Thai users. The statistics show over 56% growth in the past 10 years, with an increasing rate of sending various message types, including images, files, audio, and video, surpassing global averages.

    In the research conducted by LINE Thailand, the most popular categories for Group Chats were Friends (82%), Family (80%), Work (77%), and School (27%). This demonstrates the diversity of user groups and usage patterns. Over 77% of users mentioned that family chat groups helped improve generation gaps among family members, while LINE GROUP CHAT also expedited work processes, resulting in a more efficient work environment, which helped enhance national productivity. Therefore, LINE is committed to developing solutions to uplift work group with work-life-family balance for Thais.

    Moreover, Norasit introduced LINE STICKERS PREMIUM, a monthly/yearly subscription-based LINE STICKERS service, offering a wide range of LINE STICKERS at a cost-effective pricefor Thai users. This option aims to enhance user experience and is part of LINE’s efforts to develop its digital communication platform further.

    The first-ever technology vision by LINE Thailand.

    Weera Kasetsin, Chief Product Officer of LINE Thailand, emphasized the importance of continuous technology development for LINE Thailand as an organization dedicated to the Thai people. Over the next five years, LINE aims to become an “open platform” capable of integrating a wide range of cutting-edge technologies to create products and services that align with the behaviors of Thai users, both in terms of consumers, businesses, and partners. This will base on four key strategies:

    1. Extensive Plug-Ins: enable a variety of plug-ins for effortless integration with data solutions, both developed by LINE and external partners or general developers. This will enhance the efficiency of creating products and services that cater to the diverse needs of Thai users.
    2. Data Utilization: promote greater access to data for partners and developers, focusing on both quantity and quality. This will allow for the genuine use of data to drive growth.
    3. Performance Marketing: increase the effectiveness of marketing on the platform by strengthening data management and analysis. This will lead to sustainable business growth through various LINE solutions.
    4. Privacy Focused: maintain a strong commitment to user security and privacy, ensuring that these aspects are treated with the utmost care.

    Furthermore, LINE Thailand will elevate technology through the following three roadmaps:

    1. Customer Data Tools: enhance its capabilities to help business managing their customer data more efficient through MyCustomer tools. This includes collecting 1st Party Data from consumers, granting businesses greater access and management of data within the boundaries of consumer consent. LINE plan to introduce MyCustomer for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and, for businesses looking to manage data for CRM purposes in the future.
    2. Ads Improvement: improve advertising tools to enable better analysis and utilization of brand-acquired data for business growth. This includes new segmentation in Persona Targeting and allowing businesses and shops to access and utilize data from LINE SHOPPING for more accurate and comprehensive advertising through LINE ADS.
    3. API & Plug-In: expand and diversify API connections to meet specific needs comprehensively, for example, new LINE SHOPPING API and New Messaging API etc.  Also, LINE plan to introduce the LINE OA Plus Plug-in Store, which will be a platform for showcasing new solutions from external developers as well as offering an opportunity for Thai businesses to find solutions tailored to their needs.

    LINE Thailand is committed to continually improving its solutions and services to meet the specific needs of the Thai people. Through its open platform, LINE aim to provide opportunities for developers both within and outside the organization to actively participate. This had been geared towards advancing the nation and creating transformative changes seamlessly in people’s lives through technology.

    26 September 2023
  • KBTG invites everyone to “Let’s Get M.A.D.” in order to thrive and succeed in the AI era.
    AI is one of the urgent agendas for the world, apart from climate change, which will bring about significant changes and impact a large number of people globally, including Thailand. 

    AI is one of the urgent agendas for the world, apart from climate change, which will bring about significant changes and impact a large number of people globally, including Thailand. 

    Especially with the arrival of Generative AI, which represents an advanced level of intelligence that is expected to grow significantly in the near future, it serves as a warning signal about technological advancements and the potentially profound impacts expected. 

    Consequently, many major organizations worldwide are gearing up, adjusting their strategies to harness the positive potential of AI while safeguarding against and mitigating negative consequences.

    This new wave of AI is creating disparities in various dimensions, particularly among individuals, organizations, and nations. Those who are aware, prepared, and have the ability to adapt, learn, and leverage AI technology will continue to progress. Conversely, those who are unaware, unprepared, or lack the necessary skills risk being left behind. Therefore, AI literacy has become an urgent priority.

    In its role as a leading technology company in Thailand and as a pioneer in AI-First companies, KBTG is committed to taking on a significant mission to become a flagship that will help create AI literacy throughout Thailand.

    This involves inspiring everyone, every organization, to join the movement and Let’s Get M.A.D.

    How a Thought Begins

    KBTG firmly believes in the harmonious coexistence of AI and humans. AI functions as a second brain, enhancing human capabilities and potential on an immense scale. 

    “We are entering the era of Exponential growth, where the progress of the next 10 years will surpass that of the previous decade. AI will become as ubiquitous as the air we breathe, an indispensable part of our lives. In the coming decade, we envision that children will have the ability to design spacecraft, edit genes, or create entirely new things that are beyond the reach of today’s generation,” said RuengrojcPoonpol, Chairman of KASIKORN Business-Technology Group (KBTG).

    “In the next 10 years, it’s an incredibly exciting time for the younger generations. Today marks the dawn of a new era in AI, and there’s still time to shape the future of AI,” said Ruangroj.

    He mentioned that AI has been developing for several decades, and it has gone through multiple AI Winters. The most recent one was about 4-5 years ago when people weren’t interested in AI at all; they were more focused on blockchain and crypto. 

    However, the emergence of Generative AI has brought AI back into the spotlight, and this time it’s returning with a strong foundation. The key is the abundance of data generated during the three years of the COVID-19 pandemic when people shifted their lives to the digital world.

    For example, K PLUS has seen tremendous growth, currently supporting transactions worth over 23 trillion Baht. It manages more than 30% or 1 in 3 of Thailand’s data. Data has become the lifeblood of AI.

    Many companies, including KBank and KBTG, have embarked on data-driven transformations. The next step in this journey is automation, specifically, end-to-end automation of all processes within the organization. This includes enhancing the computing power of computers, enabling them to process vast amounts of data seamlessly.

    Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, has been saying since 2019 that the world is transitioning from the Mobile-First era to the AI-First era. Then, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and in 2021-2022, there was a surge in blockchain and crypto growth. This brought AI back into the spotlight, and by the end of 2022, the launch of Chat GPT made it clear that the world had indeed shifted from Mobile-First to AI-First.

    KBank and KBTG take pride in being at the forefront of the Mobile-First world, backed by substantial evidence. K PLUS, KBank’s mobile banking application, holds the number one position in Thailand with nearly 21 million users. Furthermore, LINE BK boasts over 4 million users, Khunthong has 1 million users, and MAKE by KBank has more than 1 million users as well. These achievements underscore our leadership in the Mobile-First landscape.

    KBank and KBTG have been laying the foundation for the AI-First era since 2019, with the vision of Cognitive Banking. 

    “We aspire to become an AI-First bank, and to achieve this, we have prepared our data through data-driven transformation and automation across all processes,”said Ruangroj.

    This includes software development, software testing, and the launch of new products, all designed to be fully automated. Our AI-First transformation encompasses every stage, from research to real-world implementation, including the development process, workflow, and marketing efforts.

    Let’s get M.A.D. 


    To emerge as winners in the AI-First era, the key is to be M.A.D. To become an AI-First company, we must “Let’s get M.A.D.” This means having Machine Learning, AI, and Data/Data Analytics as the foundation. Some challenges may require Machine Learning, while others may require AI, but all of them rely on a robust database.

    KBank has leveraged Machine Learning in the K PLUS app, resulting in a four-fold increase in the customer credit base over the past 3 years. This initiative has enabled the bank to extend over 10,000 million baht in additional credit limits and acquire twice as many new customers for its products. This has translated into an added revenue of 450 million baht in 2022. 

    Additionally, Machine Learning is used for recommending various promotions to customers, resulting in a two-fold increase in sales closures and an added revenue of 200 million baht in 2022.

    KBank has implemented AI technology across various aspects, including KBTG’s identity verification technology, Thai ID OCR, and Fraud Detection. They have also collaborated with Muang Thai Insurance to introduce Car AI. With this system, when making insurance claims, customers no longer need to wait for claims agents, which used to incur a cost of 800 baht per claim. Users can take pictures of their vehicles themselves and use Car AI to assess the damage. Furthermore, KBTG has been honored with the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2023 in the AI category, particularly for Car AI.

    AI chatbot technology has significantly automated customer service at the call center, handling up to 80% of the total conversation volume. This has saved call center employees approximately 300,000 hours of time and reduced costs by 130 million baht.

    KBTG has collaborated with MIT Media Lab on joint research projects, including the proof-of-concept “Future You” (currently in closed-group testing) and the collaborative effort known as K-GPT, a knowledge-based Chat GPT in the Thai language expected to be released as a product in 2024. Additionally, they have engaged in research to create AI characters aimed at assisting and training humans, as well as the development of Explainable AI, which can provide reasoning for its decisions.

    “In the future, SMEs will be able to have AI-powered CFOs that provide guidance,” said Ruangroj.

    He added that all data used for training AI at KBTG is de-identified to protect customer privacy and comply with legal regulations, including PDPA, Privacy Data, and customer data protection standards, similar to those of banks.

    Developing an AI ecosystem

    Starting with the transformation of KBTG into an AI-First company through M.A.D., then transitioning KBank into an AI-First Banking platform. Following that, creating AI products to assist customers, nurturing AI talents, and establishing an AI ecosystem for Thailand and the region

    “In the next 10 years, everyone must be survivors and winners, capable of enhancing work efficiency. KBTG has a significant mission. We can’t walk this path alone. We need to create an ecosystem that encompasses KBTG, KBank, KBTG’s customers, KBank’s customers, and the entire nation. Everyone must be winners and survivors,” said Ruangroj.

    KBTG has been continuously working on building the AI ecosystem, and one of its key efforts is the development of AI talent. Over the past 2 years, they have offered 20 online courses, with 14,000 participants and a total of 273,000 viewers. Moreover, there have been 30,000 hours of re-skilling, and several bootcamps have been organized, including one on Cyber Security, which attracted over 600 applicants.

    KBTG has collaborated with universities to nurture the next generation of AI enthusiasts through a 4P approach: Project-based learning, Peer collaboration, Passion-driven learning, and Playful education. They have also partnered with leading international universities for research initiatives and collaborated with MIT Media Lab to create AI Literacy Guidelines, ensuring that Thai citizens have up-to-date knowledge about AI.

    KBTG’s Center of Excellence, known as MAD and located at KBTG Labs, conducts research in three key areas: Machine Learning, AI, and Data Analytics. With a team of PhD experts, they have developed several innovative products and research projects, including AINU, the Chatbot K-GPT collaboration, MAKE, Khunthong, Car AI, and recently launched an AI Venture Builder to support AI startups.

    “We will go MAD together. We must imagine together, explore together, think together, and create together,” said Ruangroj.

    KBTG’s AI landscape, which has been evolving since 2019, encompasses a broad spectrum of initiatives and ongoing endeavors. These efforts span the utilization of AI in product development, the refinement of organizational workflows, and the augmentation of technological capabilities within both KBTG and KBank.

    This multifaceted vision involves implementing AI technology in Sales & Marketing functions, including Lead Generation, Product Preference analysis, and Promotion Reference utilization. AI also plays a pivotal role in Credit & Risk management through techniques such as Risk Modeling and Alternative Scoring.

    Furthermore, AI is employed across various business operations, such as E-KYC, Document AI, Car AI, and ATM Cash Replenishment. Additionally, Generative AI Chatbots are employed to enhance customer service, exemplified by platforms like KBank Live, LINE BK, and K+ Connect.

    The overarching objective is to leverage AI to drive innovation, streamline organizational processes, and deliver exceptional services to customers, all while adapting to the ever-evolving technological landscape.

    Furthermore, there are numerous ongoing projects in various stages of development, experimenting with the application of AI in different domains. These initiatives are aimed at bolstering KBank’s transformation into an AI-First Banking institution, emphasizing KBTG’s pivotal role as an AI-First Company. This emphasis extends across strategic functions, Business Intelligence, IT Development and Operations, and the expansion of product development efforts. The overarching goal is to enhance organizational workflows, increase technological capabilities, and align with the AI-First vision across the board.


    Almost every industry is expected to be impacted by the emergence of Synthetic AI, especially industries such as media, influencer marketing, entertainment, education, customer service (across all sectors), and logistics. 

    However, amidst this disruption, there are also opportunities. Ruangroj emphasized that to become an AI-First company, one must first adopt an AI-First mindset. It’s essential to recognize that AI is becoming a reality for everyone, and organizations have approximately two years to prepare. 

    The Generative AI bubble, which is at the top of the AI Hype pyramid, is expected to burst no later than 2024. After that, AI will enter the mainstream.

    He explained that around 90% of startups in the Generative AI space worldwide are expected to falter by no later than 2024. This is because many of them ventured into areas where they lacked expertise, such as competing with major tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and others. 

    However, moving forward, the surviving startups and new entrants in this field will collaborate with business organizations in specialized industries to create AI solutions that address the Long-tail Problem. This refers to the myriad of small but significant challenges within specific industries. For example, in the semiconductor industry, which is complex, ancient, and highly specialized, there are vast amounts of data to tackle.

    “Startups should collaborate with players in the industry to design processes with a deep understanding of the industry itself. This way, they can effectively apply AI technology to create tangible benefits,” said Ruangroj.

    In the near future, a notable approach it will see in Let’s Get M.A.D. is AI startups partnering with real businesses across various industries, especially those considered unsexy, very dirty but highly profitable. These industries are particularly suitable for collaborative AI solutions that can address significant challenges within the sector, ultimately transforming these industries into AI-driven companies.

    There are examples of AI startups that utilize data to make predictions and decisions in various industries. For instance, there’s a startup that uses 61,000 data points to forecast which flavor of beverages will be popular in the future. 

    Similarly, companies like Netflix leverage machine learning and data analytics to optimize their content selection. They analyze data with AI to determine if a particular show or movie will be popular and plan their production schedules accordingly. 

    Furthermore, they use AI-driven analysis to identify the key components necessary to make their next production trendsetting.

    AI literacy is another crucial aspect of AI adoption. There will be a significant gap between those who understand and effectively use AI and those who do not. According to predictions from the World Economic Forum, there may be up to 400 million job displacements globally due to AI.

    However, at the same time, it is also predicted that there will be the creation of 1 billion new jobs worldwide. This is because AI will lead to a large-scale repositioning of job roles.

    Therefore, every country, organization, and individual should prepare themselves for this shift. They should equip themselves with AI literacy and ensure that their organizations and countries are ready to embrace this change rather than being left behind by it.

    “Thailand and the Thai people must strive to survive and thrive in the AI era of the future. Let’s Get M.A.D. together,” said Ruangroj.

    #KBTG #KBTGAIFirst #LetsGetMAD #BeyondBanking #AITechnology

    26 September 2023
  • Thailand, Southeast Asia told to focus on their retail and digital strength
    Southeast Asia, and Thailand in particular, should focus on retail and digital industries that they excel globally, says a veteran expert

    Southeast Asia, and Thailand in particular, should focus on retail and digital industries that they excel globally, says a veteran expert with three decades of experience behind him.

    Axel Winter, Chief Executive Officer of Xponential Co Ltd, said that Southeast Asia, Thailand included, have made impressive progress in those areas.

    “I believe Thai people should understand what they do well. And retail is definitely one of them,” he said in a recent interview with The Story Thailand.

    “Digital also, Southeast Asia in general, Thailand included, is doing a lot of consumer apps very well. We tend to have super apps. The West does not have this multi-domain apps that much in America and Europe.”

    Winter suggested that Thai and Southeast Asian retailers should “look in ourselves to keep innovating”.

    For him, “the mall is like a super app in a sense” – serving as a lifestyle space for people to spend time. “They have massage and then they go for lunch. They go for movies, they buy something,” he said.

    “What happens here is very clear. It’s more digitalization, more consumer features, more auto integration and more lifestyle segments in malls.”

    ‘One of the world’s best’

    Winter says he firmly believes that Southeast Asia – and specifically Thailand – is really the best practice of retail. “I don’t think you will find a better experience elsewhere,” he said.

    For him, Bangkok’s luxury mall Icon Siam is “probably one of the best in the world”. He pointed to the mall’s “best practice in the industry” and “one of the best experiences” it offers to shoppers.

    “I talked to property owners and retailers across Europe, across Asia, even some in the US, and everybody knew Icon Siam,” he said.

    One Siam super app

    Xponential is a joint venture between Siam Piwat Group – Thailand’s leading real estate and retail developer behind iconic landmarks such as Siam Paragon shopping mall – and the Singapore-based digital tech consulting firm Pivot Digital Pte to develop new industry software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions.

    This new venture is primed to propel digital innovation beyond conventional limits and enhance the One Siam super app to better serve the needs of Siam Piwat’s customers, business partners, and allies.

    Winter, also the CEO of Pivot Digital, explained that Xponential exemplifies Siam Piwat’s commitment to expanding its digital capacities and adapting to an ever-evolving digital world. He said Xponential represents a unique fusion of Siam Piwat’s luxury mall operations and Pivot Digital’s expertise in retail tech and fin tech.

    Winter, who calls himself a “tech guy”, is a key figure behind the development of Siam Piwat’s One Siam super app. He is also Chief Digital Officer of Siam Piwat.

    Winter previously served as Chief Technology Officer of Central Group, Global Chief Architect and Head of Technology Strategy at Standard Chartered Bank, Chief Technology Officer at Cisco Systems Asia, and Global Chief Architect of GE Money.

    Three phases of strategy

    Winter described Xponential as a “professional services plus SaaS platform”, with Siam Piwat being a main customer. “We are a tech solution provider,” he said.

    Besides Siam Piwat, Xponential will serve other retail and property companies in the future, according to the CEO.

    According to Winter, Xponential has three phases of strategy. “In the first phase, we want to bring the One Siam super app to the next S curve. Then we want to co-create solutions with Siam Piwat and its business partners around Thailand and the world. And then we open up to the property and retail industries,” he said.

    The super app’s key features include customer loyalty, e-commerce, and fintech-like, according to the CEO. We combine these features into one ecosystem to drive convenience.”

    A firm believer in KPI and customer centricity

    Winter believes in KPI (short for “key performance indicator”) to decide which project is working well KPI refers to a type of performance measurement that helps you understand how your organization and in this case, digital business is performing.

    “I’m a firm believer that all apps should have strong KPI management because otherwise, you don’t know whether what you’re doing is actually good or not,” he said.

    “You need to link it back to a strong KPI and measure it [regularly] to make sure this makes sense.”

    For him, KPIs are critically important as they can tell whether a project or an app is “just a toy and nobody uses it, although it may look nice in the media for a while”.

    For the CEO, good KPIs translate into revenue and profit for the business. In the case of a mobile app, good KPIs are not just soft targets like the number of downloads.

    “You can get billion downloads, but no one uses it. And then what’s the point?” he said.

    “It’s really about the money. If it makes money, then it’s OK. If it doesn’t, then it has to change or it has to die.”

    For Winter, the KPI principle should also be applied to the One Siam super app.

    “Overall KPI is important because otherwise we lose sight and focus. We also need to look at what the customers actually do, what they like, what they accept, and what they reject. And do more of what they like, and less of what they reject,” he said.

    ‘Arguing can be good’

    Winter also mentioned a corporate dark side, which he “saw everywhere in the world”. Companies often have a “pet project” of an executive sponsor or board member that might not be working well but nobody is going to openly discuss it, as long as that executive is still in charge.

    “It’s just going to slowly losing steam until the executive sponsor leaves or retires, and then successors will make the tough decisions.” he said.

    That is a good example of bad KPIs Setting and management.

    He reckons that a good business project should come from the exchange of ideas by the people involved on all levels (eg, Product Mangers, Tech leads, data scientists, business users, etc.)

    “You don’t want to have this type of top-down decisions that you have one person deciding what customers should like. It should be a process where you argue a little bit. Arguing can be good because you come up with new ideas, with new concepts, and everybody learns in the process,” he said.

    “This is about innovation and being customer centric. This is not about following the existing blueprint.”

    Customer loyalty is the key

    Winter says retail and e-commerce businesses needd a smart customer loyalty strategy to drive values for consumers and KPI.

    “I believe in leveraging loyalty programs to foster lasting customer connections. However, it’s crucial to strike a balance. Retail demands a blend of immediate cash discounts at the point of purchase and long-term loyalty incentives. Customers seek affordable prices today, not just after accumulating a substantial number of points. Loyalty programs have the power to bring customers back to apps and malls, enticing them with points that translate into benefits.” he said.

    KBank invites ASEAN to jointly establish common decarbonization standards

    CP AXTRA unveils its new business “Hybrid Wholesale”

    26 September 2023
  • True Corporation reveals THB 250 billion of synergies in Net Present Value.
    At their Capital Markets Day today, the Management of True Corporation revealed synergies of THB 250 billion in Net Present Value

    At their Capital Markets Day today, the Management of True Corporation revealed synergies of THB 250 billion in Net Present Value (NPV). The management also outlined details of key areas contributing to the synergies, with 35% delivered by the network consolidation project “Single Grid”. EBITDA growth will surpass Service Revenue growth as the company focuses on profitable growth while undergoing a large-scale transformation. True Corporation expects to achieve steady state cashflow savings of approximately THB 22 billion from 2026.

    Manat Manavutiveth, True Corporation’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “True Corporation represents the largest telecom amalgamation in Asia in terms of enterprise value. Together we benefit from the experience and strengths of our shareholders, with CP Group bringing Thai market expertise, a wide variety of business and channels in their portfolio and a diverse and widespread distribution footprint. From Telenor Group, we gain the expertise of Telecommunications, with operational performance and profit driven focus. We are leading Thailand’s mobile market with over 51 million subscribers while serving 3.8 million online users and 40 million digital users. We are transforming ourselves from Telecom to Telecom-Tech, by combining our core connectivity and business capabilities with advanced technologies. By extending our capabilities to consumers, businesses, and industries, we will generate new growth opportunities beyond connectivity and deliver on our vision to lead Thailand’s Telecom-Tech frontier.”

    Sharad Mehrotra, True Corporation’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said, “Our network consolidation project, Single Grid, will be the core of our operations, as we integrate by reducing redundant infrastructure by 30%, yet building a denser, wider, and better network for our customers. We will focus on granular level execution, reducing coverage gaps, while strengthening and modernizing our towers with multiple bands. As we integrate our networks, our key priority will be ensuring good customer experience through band-wise execution, creating overlapping coverage and utilizing real-time insights. With the support of world-class vendors and partners, we aim to deliver the Single Grid within 2025.

    We will also create value for our customer base through product differentiation with a wide range of service propositions that cater to customer preferences and using next-generation AI and enhanced capabilities, while using channel harmonization to provide seamless online-offline experience. 5G monetization, upselling and cross selling of convergence offerings, premiumizing of customers with digital services and ongoing rationalization of offers in the market will be the key levers for sustainable growth.”

    Nakul Sehgal, True Corporation’s Co-Chief Financial Officer, said, “Over 100 initiatives contribute to the THB 250 billion synergies, with the top 15 driving 85% of all synergy values. The bulk of the integration related spending will be taking place by 2024, as a result of which the company will achieve net positive synergies in 2025, becoming profitable. True will realize steady state cashflow savings of approximately THB 22 billion from 2026 onwards.

    With continued focus on structural optimization of costs, sweating of assets and profitable growth, EBTIDA will grow faster than Service Revenue, with EBITDA to Service Revenue Margin expected to improve 11 pp by 2027. Benefiting from procurement synergies and Single Grid including spectrum pooling, disciplined capex management which has been engrained in our way of work, the CAPEX intensity of True is expected to be half of pre-amalgamation levels after the completion of network consolidation. As a leading technology provider with competitive edge from the strengths of our shareholders, True Corporation is well positioned in Thailand to grab untapped opportunities and deliver value for all stakeholders.”

    Amazon’s AI move – why you need AI investments as race speeds up

    Dell Technologies’ research: 31% of organizations in Thailand are innovating effectively

    Banpu unveils progress in business transformation, stepping towards future growth

    26 September 2023
  • KResearch cuts its 2023 Thai economic projection from 3.7 to 3.0 percent
    KResearch has lowered its 2023 Thai economic growth projection from 3.7 percent to 3.0 percent.

    KResearch has lowered its 2023 Thai economic growth projection from 3.7 percent to 3.0 percent. Despite increased confidence after the successful government formation, the Thai economy is still grappling with the global economic slowdown, especially the weakening Chinese economy hit by property woes.

    Burin Adulwattana, Managing Director and Chief Economist, KASIKORN RESEARCH CENTER Co., Ltd. (KResearch), said, “The global economy is slowing down, impacting global trade. This is evident in the global manufacturing slowdown, especially in China and Germany, which are heavily reliant on exports. China is also hindered by an ailing property sector, which has hurt domestic demand. In the US, the Federal Reserve (Fed) is concerned about inflation. The economy continues to grow, and the Fed is expected to raise interest rates further this year keeping them higher than previously forecast in 2024.”

    It is expected that the Thai economy will grow slower than our prior estimate for 2023. KResearch, therefore, has cut its 2023 growth forecast for the Thai economy to 3 percent from 3.7 percent as global economic growth – particularly that of China – has seen a steady decline. Under these circumstances, the number of international tourist arrivals in Thailand are expected to reach only 27.6 million during 2023, and Thai merchandise exports may contract 2.5 percent, which would be worse than our prior estimate of (-)1 percent.

    Additionally, domestic demand will continue to be affected by the subdued recovery of the tourism sector, persistent slowdown in the manufacturing sector, and hefty household debt. As evidenced, NPLs classified as “Code 21”, or debt overdue by more than 90 days caused by an unusual situation such as COVID-19, are set to rise. This has caused domestic demand to remain weak, as reflected in the ongoing contraction in domestic car sales and core inflation that has fallen below the Bank of Thailand’s inflation target. KResearch expects that the Bank of Thailand will maintain its policy rate at 2.25 percent at the upcoming Monetary Policy Meeting slated for September 27, 2023. 

    The government’s policies that have been announced and additional priorities will focus on short-term economic stimulus measures – including reduced living costs, a debt moratorium, and the 10,000-Baht digital wallet. These initiatives will help stimulate the Thai economy to a limited extent in 2023, but their positive impacts are likely to be more pronounced at the beginning of 2024. Regarding the Thai Baht outlook, KResearch believes that the Baht is set to weaken in the short term due to the widening interest rate differential between the US and Thailand. However, Thailand is expected to maintain its credibility for the time being. Nonetheless, the Baht’s performance will depend heavily on Thailand’s future economic growth and the government’s fiscal discipline.

    In the context where global trade protectionism has become more evident, there has been a rising trend of relocating production bases to the ASEAN region. However, Thailand has so far seen little benefit from this trend. Additionally, as the Thai economy is facing multiple structural challenges, the government must prioritize tackling such issues even as it implements the present “quick win” measures.

    KBTG demonstrates its readiness to be an “AI-First Company”

    SCB 10X invests in AI21 Labs in Series C funding round

    26 September 2023
  • Amazon’s AI move – why you need AI investments as race speeds up
    Amazon’s $4bn investment into a ChatGPT rival reinforces why almost all investors should have some artificial intelligence

    Amazon’s $4bn investment into a ChatGPT rival reinforces why almost all investors should have some artificial intelligence (AI) exposure in their investment mix, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory, asset management and fintech organisations.

    The comments from Nigel Green of deVere Group comes as e-commerce giant Amazon said on Monday it will invest $4 billion in Anthropic and take a minority ownership position. Anthropic was founded by former OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT) executives, and recently debuted its new AI chatbot named Claude 2.

    He says: “This move highlights how the big tech titan is stepping up its rivalry with other giants Microsoft, Google and Nvidia in the AI space.

    “The AI Race is on, with the big tech firms racing to lead in the development, deployment, and utilisation of artificial intelligence technologies.

    “AI is going to reshape whole industries and fuel innovation – and this makes it crucial for investors to pay attention and why almost all investors need exposure to AI investments in their portfolios.”

    While it seems that the AI hype is everywhere now, we are still very early in the AI era. Investors, says the deVere CEO, should act now to have the ‘early advantage’.

    “Getting in early allows investors to establish a competitive advantage over latecomers. They can secure favourable entry points and lower purchase prices, maximizing their potential profits.

    “This tech has the potential to disrupt existing industries or create entirely new ones. Early investors are likely to benefit from the exponential growth that often accompanies the adoption of such technologies. As these innovations gain traction, their valuations could skyrocket, resulting in significant returns on investment,” he notes.

    While AI is The Big Story currently, investors should, as always, remain diversified across asset classes, sectors and regions in order to maximise returns per unit of risk (volatility) incurred.

    Diversification remains investors’ best tool for long-term financial success. As a strategy it has been proven to reduce risk, smooth-out volatility, exploit differing market conditions, maximise long-term returns and protect against unforeseen external events.

    Of the latest Amazon investment, Nigel Green concludes: “AI is not just another technology trend; it is a game-changer. Investors need to pay attention and include it as part of their mix.”

    Dell Technologies’ research: 31% of organizations in Thailand are innovating effectively

    KBTG demonstrates its readiness to be an “AI-First Company”

    26 September 2023