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Thai Siam Commercial Bank launches food delivery app amid competition

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB) on Monday launched a food delivery platform, Robinhood, amid growing competition in the sector in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

Robinhood is the latest entrant to offer Thai food delivery services, which have seen a surge in orders amid lockdown restrictions earlier this year during the coronavirus pandemic.

The sector is currently dominated by Singapore-based Grab, Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Foodpanda, owned by Germany’s Delivery Hero SE and Japan’s Line Man Wongnai.

Thailand’s fourth-largest lender, SCB, is an investor in Go-Jek, but has said their food delivery units operate separately.

In a statement, SCB said that 10,000 riders were ready to deliver food.

“The Robinhood app’s goal is to act as a bridge between 16,000 small merchants and customers,” said SCB senior executive Thana Thienachariya.

The app aims to link to 30,000 restaurants by year-end.

Rival lender, Kasikornbank Pcl, has also launched a food ordering platform, Eatable, but does not have its own delivery fleet.

In July, Japanese chat app, Line Crop, announced a merger between its food delivery unit with restaurant platform Wongnai and a capital raising of $110 million with plans to expand.

Last week, Thailand’s competition watchdog announced guidelines for food delivery apps including charging commissions without advance notice and inappropriate charges for advertising and promotions.

There had been complaints that food delivery platforms have increased their service fees for restaurants from 20% to up to 40%.

SCB said Robinhood would not charge merchants gross profit commissions and vowed to settle payments to merchants within an hour and be entirely cashless. It will offer merchant-sponsored discounts for customers of 8%.

Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Ed Davies

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