Insights 4 February 2020

KBank BLACKPINK Debit Card : A new success formula in the digital banking world

The debut of the KBank BLACKPINK Debit Card in the middle of last November was a phenomenon that rocked Thailand’s business sector, idol community, and banking industry.

What’s more interesting than the uniquenew product itself was the very warm welcome the product received from its customers. Despite the entry fee rate of Baht 750, which is two times an average rate of a typical debit card, this debit card proves a testament to the overwhelming success of KBank, bucking the trends of the declining banking sector caused by the lower fee rates and continued economic slowdown.



Photo : KBank

Why has the KBank BLACKPINK Debit Card become a success? 


Right positioning : With its clearly established position and its first-of-its-kind format, the product has drawn strong attention and desire from the target group to own it. The card comes with an eye-friendly design and contains no string of long numbers. It is also imprinted with the outstanding image of a favorite idol and her 5 different signature styles to choose from. One bank account is eligible for applying for up to 5 debit cards. The customer will get a free bag and a KBank x BLACKPINK notebook specially designed for this special occasion. This financial product has earned its status as a collectible with its value and price skyrocketing as compared to other products in the market. 

This project has a communication strategythat is alignedwith the target group’s lifestyle. One highlight is the 120-second-long MV with the inspirational concept of “Empowers Your Belief.” The concept is represented by the BLACKPINK band, focusing more on building up connection with the audience than the brand itself. This is the brilliant way of creating awareness among customers and leaving a good impression on them.


Right channel : Customers must apply for their debit cards through “ThaiTicketmajor”, which is the channel for booking a concert ticket. No other bank has done that before. This creates a whole new experience for the Blinks (referred to the BLACKPINK fans) who must compete with each other for their debit cards instead of concert tickets.


Right partner : The KBank BLACKPINK Debit Card phenomenon reflects that doing business alone no longer guarantees great success in this digital era. Before the official introduction of the card, KBank already joined hands with over 10 partners to offer privileges and benefits for the cardholders, such as a 20% discount from LAZADA, a 600-baht cash coupon from ALAND, a well-known outfit brand from South Korea, a 100-baht discount from Grab Food, etc.  Those collaborations and synergies led to a greater desire among people to use the product. 


Right feature : Apart from physical products, KBank pays attention deep down to the e-Banking theme. Customers can usespecial codes to download the “BLACKPINK” theme instantly after the card activation, making them feel very impressed with all dimensions of the services.



Photo : KBank

Behind the Success of KBank


The beautiful achievements were driven by great planning and working methods behind the scene. The concept of “KBANK Empowers Your Belief” is not only used as the theme for this project but also applied to the way KBank drives its business towards success.     

To implement this concept, KBank started by empowering its respective teams to make decisions, mobilizing collaborative efforts from every section of the organization to make people feel that they all can contribute to transformations. For example, people from the call center helped prepare BLACKPINK information; 13,000 branch officers had to pass a test to remember the names of the artists in order to serve their customers; people from the marketing communications function had to design commercial ads that won the hearts of the modern generations; and even executives were open-minded to listen to the opinions of the younger customers. Those people were empowered with the belief that they could successfully conduct the project as expected.  Even the bank allowed the use of the pink color, instead of its symbolic green color, to represent “BLACKPINK”, the concept that had never been implemented before.



Photo : KBank

Think Far, Adjust Fast, and Work Systematically to Drive KBank Ahead of All Banks


Although in 2015, KBank saw its mobile banking or K Plus customer base growing to more than 7,500,000 people with 3 billion mobile banking transactions, making it no.1 in this area on an ongoing basis; it never stops to strive for its betterment by showing a strong commitment to moving forward and implementing new projects under an agile and creative working style. One of the KBank’s goals is to integrate “K Plus” as part of people’s daily lives and upgrade it to the “Lifestyle Platform.”

Even though this goal may seemlike a big and far-reaching dream, especially in today’s highly competitive and fast-changing world; it seems that KBank is getting closer and closer to destination. And many organizations are believed to have the same dream as KBank- to walk closer towards the goal.



Photo : KBank

Is your organization standing ready for the success?


The success of KBank BLACKPINK clearly suggests that amid the streams of digital disruption, businesses have to keep adapting themselves and be on alert at all times. They shall never stop developing themselves in order to find ways to achieve growth and new opportunities; otherwise they could be hit by the big waves of digital disruption and sink down to the bottom of the business ocean.

“PMO” or Program Management Office is another key driver of today’s business management. It is a tool for conducting transformations through the establishment of a specific unit specializing in program management and understanding organizational strategies. PMO has the duty of coordinating various functional units across the organization to ensure alignment of operations and lessening the resistance from work, hence the more opportunities for the organization to get closer towards a success.

PMO planning is typically done by subject-specific experts, allowing a business to become the first mover of a particular industry faster. As PMO supports the agile implementation of projects or the work processes that lessen the concentration of power and reduce work hierarchy; it helps solve problems and make improvements in a timely manner. PMO becomes a model that helps every function steer the project right toward the target faster than old-school management practices adopted by rivals.


Have you got a sound PMO yet?