Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank to launch hotel booking app next year

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Thailand’s oldest lender, Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB), said on Monday it plans to launch a hotel booking application next year that does not charge hospitality operators a gross profit fee.

The bank said it would launch the app, “Zero GP OTA”, to assist small and medium-sized hotel entrepreneurs to reduce their online travel agency (OTA) costs.

“The new platform is scheduled to roll out early next year when the COVID-19 situation begins to abate and tourism rebounds,” SCB said in a statement.

The move comes after SCB, the country’s fourth-largest lender by assets, announced a joint venture with Indonesian travel startup, Traveloka, last month to offer financial services to Thai customers.

Thai banks have been investing in new digital technologies and services as they face growing competition from financial technology and payment startups like ride-hailer, Grab.

SCB’s “Zero GP OTA” will build on its food delivery service, Robinhood, which was launched last year amid a surge in demand for food deliveries amid lockdowns triggered by the pandemic.

Robinhood has 90,000 merchants and 15,000 delivery drives, SCB says.

“The platform and the support of more than one million Robinhood users will help hoteliers,” said Thana Thienachariya, chairman of Purple Ventures, the bank’s e-marketplace unit.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.