COM7 teams up with its major partner KBank to expand more branches Pioneering comprehensive retail and financial businesses

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Monday May 7, 2018 13:12
Bangkok--7 May--KASIKORNBANK

COM7 teams up with KBank to expand BaNANA store branches to cater to the modern lifestyle, enabling the new generation to access IT products and services more conveniently. The duo are confident that this collaboration is a win-win strategy, contributing to greater efficiency in expanding distribution channels, cutting cost and boosting business opportunities. COM7 and KBank have launched their first BaNANA pilot branch in Yasothon and so far received positive feedback. Building on the upbeat momentum, the two plan to have 20 venues with KBank mini-branches by the year-end, unveiling new dimension with more diverse retail business and comprehensive financial service in Thailand.

Mr. Sura Khanittaweekul, Chief Executive Officer, COM7 Public Company Limited (COM7), Thailand-based IT retail giant operating BaNANA, Studio 7, BKK, iCare and Brand Shop stores, revealed that the company's IT and smartphone retail business shows a solidly bright prospect thanks to COM7's strategy to increase product lines and boost comprehensive services to respond to the lifestyle of the new generation. In addition, the company has the most extensive branch network in Thailand, targeting to achieve 600 branches under its management by the end of 2018, up from 434 in the previous year, presenting strength of excellent products and services to reach out to customers nationwide and being able to add value to other businesses.

COM7's announcement to cooperate with KBank - Thailand's leading financial institution and COM7's important business partner - in the expansion of BaNANA branches is based on strengths of both parties. The branch that the company collaborates with KBank is a prototype of the first IT retail store in Thailand that offers financial services, being a new kind of hybrid between retail and financial businesses, aimed at meeting the current digital lifestyles of customers and building future success in other businesses.

"COM7 has an expertise in retail and IT businesses with branches located cross Thailand, in particular upcountry, and products covering all customers' needs. The company also engages in e-commerce and related businesses to support sales. COM7's customer base has grown steadily every year. The collaboration with KBank in expanding the new type of BaNANA branches represents the company's pilot business model, given that it will be the first retail store of its kind in the country that offers both IT products and financial services. We are of the view that this cooperation will help the two organizations achieve other successes in the future, based on mutual benefit derived from offering greater convenience for our customers to purchase IT products and use financial services", said Mr. Sura.

However, COM7 has set up an income growth target at not lower than 15 percent over 2017, wherein total income stood at THB22.584 billion and net profit of the COM7 Public Company Limited (COM7) amounted to THB608.8 million, also a record high of both records.

Mr. Vallop Vongjitvuttikrai, KBank Executive Vice President, said KBank's mini-branch opening at BaNANA shops of COM7 PLC. is a joint effort of the two organizations in enhancing the potential of branch channel and service pattern to get access to new customers, especially in provincial areas. This collaboration is aimed at increasing business traffic from both parties' customers, via facilitation of comprehensive service from buying IT items to conducting financial transactions at a single spot, thus responding to consumers' modern lifestyle with thriving financial transactions via bank branches in shopping venues. The first mini-branch, opened in Tesco Lotus Supermarket, Yasothon, can offer full service provision that is equal to normal branches, for example, account opening/closing, deposit/withdrawal/transfer of funds, application for debit/credit cards, application for personal loans, mutual fund trading, foreign exchange and cross-border funds transfer. In March 2018, the amount of account opening per month was 20 percent higher than that of normal branches. With their skills in IT goods, BaNANA staff can also assist KBank customers by advising them about the installation and utilization of K PLUS app.

Mini-branches will provide full services, but with lower costs by at least 50 percent than normal branches, given a space of only 25-30 square meters and staff of 3-4 persons/branch. KBank plans to open another 20 mini-branches at BaNANA shops, with focus on potential provincial areas. By the end of 2018, new mini-branches are expected to open in Yasothon, Chaiyaphum and Chon Buri.

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