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Fintech companies in Vietnam: opportunities and challenges

Fintech companies in Vietnam: opportunities and challenges

Wednesday 21, 07 2021
Currently, there are many opportunities for Fintech companies in Vietnam as more and more Vietnamese consumers use Fintech products and services. However, along with development opportunities, there still exist several difficulties and challenges.

What is Fintech?

Fintech stands for Financial Technology, which is commonly used by all companies that utilize the Internet, mobile phones, cloud computing technology and open source software to improve the efficiency of banking and investment activities.

Fintech is currently providing services in many different fields such as banking technology, payment, financial management, digital currencies, etc. with diverse products such as:

  • Electronic wallet
  • Distributed ledger technology on blockchain platform
  • B2C Online Commerce
  • mPOS

Fintech

Rapid development of Fintech in Vietnam

Fintech has been attracting the attention of many technology and financial experts as well as investors around the world. Total investment in financial technology in the first half of 2018 reached 31.7 billion USD with about 450 successful investment deals, nearly tripled in value compared to the same period in 2017 (KPMG).

Such figures show the strong and comprehensive development of Fintech in recent years. This field has become a part of the financial sector, promising to contribute to changing the financial industry in the coming time.

In recent years, Vietnam has also witnessed the strong and extensive development of the Fintech market.

According to the State Bank, in 2020, the number of Fintech companies in Vietnam nearly quadrupled that in 2016. In particular, 65% of Fintech companies are operating in the field of payment, and 10.5% in the field of crowdfunding.

The State Bank

Beside startups, many commercial banks such as BIDV, Vietinbank, VPBank, and TPBank have also been gradually transforming and operating digital banking systems on the basis of modern technology.

Challenges that Fintech companies in Vietnam are facing

Along with the opportunities, there are still many challenges in Vietnam’s Fintech market that companies in this field have to face with.

Firstly, the legal corridor for Fintech is not really complete, especially for new technologies. The time for legal updates, amendments and supplements is not in line with the rapid development of technology.

Secondly, Vietnam's technology infrastructure has not yet met the requirements of high-tech development, especially security technology.

Next, Fintech companies often face difficulties in business model, governance model as well as long-term development strategies, which makes it difficult for them to boom.

Finally, Vietnamese consumers’ awareness of Fintech products is still limited. People are still unaware of the confidentiality of personal information such as full name, identity card number, passport, address, date of birth, account number, etc. This poses a lot of risks for consumers themselves as well as financial institutions.

Top Fintech companies in Vietnam by segment

There are currently about 154 active companies in Vietnam’s Fintech ecosystem operating in the following segments: payment, digital banking, wealth management, peer to peer lending (P2P lending), blockchain/cryptocurrency, crowdfunding, credit scoring, SMEs financing, comparison, POS and insurtech.

Below is all about the most developed Fintech segments in Vietnam as well as the largest companies operating in each segment.

Payment

Cashless payments is booming in Vietnam. In particular, by the end of March 2021, electronic payments via the Internet, mobile phones, QR codes achieved remarkable results. Compared to the same period in 2020, transactions via the Internet channel reached 156.2 million items with a value of 8.1 million billion VND (increasing by 55.9% in quantity and 28.4% in value); transactions via mobile phone channel reached 395.05 million items with a value of more than 4.6 million billion VND (increasing by 78% in quantity and 103% in value); transactions via QR code channel reached 5.3 million items with a value of 4,479 billion VND (increasing by 83% in quantity and 146% in value).

A report published at the end of 2018 by Allied Market Research estimated that the Vietnamese mobile payment market could reach 70,937 million USD by 2025.

There are 35 Fintech startups and platforms operating in this segment, led by MoMo. Following is the detailed information of the largest companies in this field:

MoMo is an electronic wallet that allows users to pay online and make peer-to-peer (P2P) transfers, owned by M_Service company. As of October 2018, MoMo had nearly 10 million users on both iOS and Android. MoMo is invested by Goldman Sachs, Standard Chartered Bank and the US private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

Momo

GrabPay by Moca is Grab's e-wallet. Grab cooperated with Moca to develop this wallet based on Moca's e-payment service platform. Moca was licensed by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) for payment services in 2016 and has a network of 11 local banks as partners. In 2018, Grab Vietnam became a shareholder of Moca when it acquired shares from Access Venture SPV — an investment fund of Hong Kong.

Airpay is an electronic wallet developed by AirPay Joint Stock Company, providing payment intermediary services. This is one of the products in the companion ecosystem with Garena, Ocha, Foody, Now Delivery and Shopee.

Zalo Pay, owned by ZION company, is an e-wallet providing payment services integrated with Vietnam's most popular messaging platform, Zalo. It allows users to link payment cards for P2P payments, payments via NFC, QR codes, as well as purchase products and services online...

VNPay QR is a payment gateway that allows customers to use the QR Pay feature built into the Internet banking app of banks on mobile phones and scan the code to pay. It was developed by Vietnam Payment Solution Joint Stock Company. With this model, VNPay immediately owns the available users of 30 banking apps and 6 e-wallets. In 2019, the company raised 300 million USD from SoftBank's Vision Fund and Singapore's GIC investment fund.

P2P lending

P2P lending allows individuals and businesses to lend and borrow money. With an efficient structure, P2P lending Fintech companies can offer low interest rates and improve the lending process between lenders and borrowers. This is the second largest Fintech segment in Vietnam with more than 20 startups. Prominent companies in this segment include:

Tima -  a consumer finance company and peer-to-peer lending platform. This company has signed cooperation agreements with financial institutions such as Vietinbank and Dong A Bank, and claims to have disbursed about 1.7 billion USD in loans to 2.8 million people and have more than 30,000 lenders on its platform.

Tima

Vay Muon - Vay Muon Joint Stock Company was first launched at the end of 2017. To date 'VayMuon.vn is one of the leading peer-to-peer lending platforms in Vietnam, connecting more than 2 million customers with nearly 400,000 investors and growing over 20% per month.

Digital banking

Digital banking is a bank that can perform most of its banking transactions online via the Internet. There a 5 startups in this segment and the leading company is Timo.

Timo operates on 2 channels: Mobile Banking application and Internet Banking. Timo is guaranteed and co-developed by VPBank. Recently, Timo has transferred its partner to Ban Viet Bank.

Wealth management

This segment consists of 9 companies, the most prominent one of which is Money lover. This is a personal finance management app managed by Finsify company. It adopts the Freemium model. Users will be able to use this application with the most basic features. After that, they will have to pay if they want to use the version with more advanced features.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding involves three parties: (1) the project initiator or entrepreneur in need of funding, (2) contributors who may be interested in supporting the project, and (3) coordinating organization that facilitates engagement between contributors and initiators. The coordinating organization allows contributors to access information about various initiatives and funding opportunities for product/service development. There are 6 companies operating in this Fintech segment in Vientam, accounting for about 10.5% market share.

Source: Fintech News Singapore, tomorrowmarketings

Compiled by VietnamCredit

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