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Digital Transformation Reshaping Vietnam Banking

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 In the 4.0 era, digitalisation has become a crucial aspect for businesses and the banking sector is no exception. The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) reported that, by the end of 2022, the banking industry had allocated more than VND 15 trillion (US$ 617.6 million) for digital transformation.

Over the past four years, the country has sustained a 40% growth rate in digital payments, positioning itself as one of the fastest-growing economies globally in banking digital transformation. SBV noted that a substantial 96% of Vietnamese banks have formulated digital transformation plans, and 92% have developed internet and mobile application services.

The Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) stands out as a frontrunner in pioneering new technologies and business models to enhance customer experience through a digital banking ecosystem.

Notably, in 2022, the bank deployed Agribank Digital, a comprehensive platform equipped with the functions of a transaction office, including features such as identification, online account opening, registration for electronic banking services, and conducting financial transactions through biometrics.

Meanwhile, Vu Thanh Trung, the Director of Digital Bank at Military Bank (MB), revealed that the bank has been actively implementing a digital transformation strategy since 2018, involving strategic collaboration with a technology giant based in the United States.

As a pioneer in deploying “self-serving” and “all-in-one-app” trends, MB focuses on developing products that prioritise convenience and flexibility for both individuals and businesses. Trung noted that the bank dedicates an average of about US$ 50 million annually to fund its digital transformation initiatives.

By the end of October, the number of transactions on digital channels reached 1.6 billion, of which the MB Bank App alone recorded 20 million transactions a day. In the first ten months of 2023, MB’s pre-tax profit topped VND 21.9 trillion (US$ 902 million), marking a 10% increase compared to the corresponding period in the previous year. This figure is equivalent to 84% of the bank’s annual target.

However, despite several advancements, the banking industry is grappling with various challenges, including issues related to the synchronisation and standardisation of technical infrastructure, which would streamline interconnection and integration between the banking sector and other industries, forming a digital ecosystem that offers diverse and utility-driven services to customers.

Therefore, the digital transformation plans outlined by SBV encompass specific tasks and solutions focussed on the research and implementation of centralised infrastructure, allowing the connection, exploitation, and sharing of data with the National Population Database and other industry databases. The objective is to verify information, classify, and evaluate customers effectively.

According to SBV Deputy Governor Pham Tien Dung, SBV has consistently reviewed and completed the legal corridor to create favourable conditions for data connection and exploitation, and technology application. These efforts are geared toward facilitating digital transformation while ensuring banking activities’ security, safety, and confidentiality.

In the coming time, SBV is committed to taking a proactive approach, collaborating with various stakeholders to implement solutions outlined in the cashless payment project for the 2021-2025 period. Additionally, it will collaborate on the digital transformation plan and Project 06 of the banking industry. Project 06 concentrates on refining the legal framework to facilitate digital transformation, including policies related to data connection and exploitation.


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