The Emergence Of Platform Economy In Thailand

Travellers from other parts of the world can easily go online and make reservations at Sukhumvit hotel that can be found in the heart of the city of Bangkok. Instead of physically visiting a hotel upon arrival at the Suvarnabhumi Airport, a travelleris assured that there is a room waiting for him at a hotel. Advance reservations are particularly important during the peak tourist season in Thailand.

The “platform economy” is now emerging in Thailand with leading banks like the Siam Commercial Bank currently undergoing the digital transformation process. Banks in Thailand have been facing the disruption brought about by digital technologies over the past few years. However, banks are also confronting the risks of competitiveness unleashed by emergence of ecommerce giants like Alibaba and Amazon.

Another challenge faced by traditional commercial banks in Thailand is the rise of start-ups that can transform the bank’s business model. One of the solutions made by Thai banks is to encourage as many customers as possible to shift from physically visiting banks to using online and mobile banking. Banks are also planning to close some of the branches or turn them into centres that will handle new services.

Banks have also entered the age of Big Data where the personal information they have gathered from customers are very valuable. With analytical and artificial intelligence tools, banks can gain information on their customer’s spending habits and product or service preferences. Most Thais’ receive their pay every 16th and 30th of the month and after paying their rent or mortgage, they dine out, buy groceries or shop. A high volume of bank customers use mobile apps to find dining places and products.

Platform-based business models will likely be the core for business growth strategies in the coming years. The transformation is expected to result into increased productivity while minimizing costs. There is also the potential of being able to create new markets.

The growth of platform economy is also affecting the hospitality industry. Instead of personally booking for a room at Sukhumvit hotel, a visitor can book directly through the hotel website. Special offers await visitors from discounts on room rates, food, drinks and spa treatments to free upgrades.