A subsidiary of China retail fintech firm Lufax Holding, Lu International, will use its parent’s “cloud-exporting” model for the online wealth management platform, which will be jointly operated and managed by Lu International and Thai lender, Kasikornbank.
“Lufax Holding, together with Lu International, has the technological capabilities and wealth of experience in doing business globally to help address a gap in the Thailand market,” said Greg Gibb, Lufax Holding’s CEO, in a statement.
Lu International was set up in Singapore in 2017 as Lufax Holding’s first international arm. Since then, it has extended its operations and market reach, which now spans several markets in Asia with around 380,000 registered customers, according to the statement.
It operates online wealth management mobile platform Lu Global in Singapore, which offers customers access to a range of investments.
The announcement of the Thailand partnership closely follows Lu International’s launch of a mobile app in Hong Kong, which provides a selection of Hong Kong dollar-based mutual fund products with zero transaction fees for a limited (but unspecified) period.
The roll-out of the app comes after Lu International in Hong Kong gained a Type 1 (dealing in securities) license from the Securities and Futures Commission in late-June. The license enables the firm to trade shares, bonds and mutual funds for individual investors.
“In the coming months, we will continue to grow our capabilities in Southeast Asia, extending our footprint in the region to meet the needs of our customers and support the business growth of our partners,” said Kit Wong, CEO of Lu International in the statement, although he was unavailable to elaborate on future plans.
In recent years, Lufax Holding has adopted big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and other emerging technologies to develop a number of fintech products, some of which have already been rolled out, such as its investor suitability management system, called “Know Your Intention (KYI)” model.
“With the necessary technical support coupled with fintech innovation, Kasikornbank has successfully achieved digital transformation through the partnership with Lu International, as well as the help of an open-banking services model,” said Kattiya Indaravijaya, CEO of Kasikornbank.
Kasikornbank is the fourth-largest commercial bank in Thailand, and has been promoting the digitisation process of banking services in recent years, according to the statement. The bank has 17.3 million customers in Thailand, including 12.7 million online users, it added.
Meanwhile, robo-advisory platforms to service the affluent and mass retail wealth management markets are competing aggressively throughout Southeast Asia.
However, the battleground is mainly in Singapore, and increasingly Malaysia. The few robo-advisory platforms in Thailand include Robowealth’s Odini and Finnomena’s Nter.