JCB targets 2 mil. credit card customers in Thailand by 2020

BANGKOK, NNA - Japan's JCB Co. has partnered with a Thai commercial bank with an eye on increasing the number of its credit card holders in Thailand by 1.4 million by 2020 to 2 million.

"Thailand has potential to be (our) second most important market after Japan and we believe in Thai economic growth in the long run," said Kimihisa Imada, president of JCB International Co., the Japanese card provider's subsidiary.

JCB announced on Tuesday its latest partnership with Kasikorn Bank, widely known as KBank, to issue the "KBank JCB Credit Card" brand, targeting Thais who favor Japanese lifestyles and traveling abroad.

The card is available in the three types of Platinum, Gold and Classic, giving privileges to access JCB's international services as well as promotions from cooperative merchants both in Thailand and Japan.

The new credit card brand is expected to generate 100,000 new card holders with total spending worth 2 billion baht ($58.9 million) in the first year. JCB currently has 600,000 cardholders in Thailand.

KBank is JCB's fourth partner in the Thai credit card market following Krung Thai Bank, Bank of Ayudhya and Aeon Thana Sinsap (Thailand) Public Co., a financial subsidiary of Japan's Aeon retail group.

JCB has issued credit cards of its brand in eight of the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -- Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

It is preparing to do so in Cambodia as well.

According to KBank, more than 900,000 Thai visitors went to Japan last year and spent 43.2 billion baht in total, ranking Thais sixth on the list of highest-spending tourists.

For KBank's card holders, they spent 3.3 billion baht in Japan last year, accounting for 25 percent of total spending through credit cards of Thai tourists.

The most popular categories include hotels and clothing and retail stores. (NNA/Kyodo)