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Vietnam Launches AI Hack Bootcamp for E-Commerce Solutions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Hack Bootcamp 2021, a programme that seeks AI solutions for e-commerce, was launched at a ceremony jointly held by the Saigon Hi-tech Park Incubation Centre and the Vietnam E-Commerce Association on 1 October. It aims to promote the research and development of AI solutions and products, attract promising projects, and form a community of outstanding AI developers. The annual programme will provide support for and connect AI start-ups, projects solutions, and products that would be utilised in e-commerce, focusing on training, coaching, and mentoring.

According to a news report, after the eight weeks of training and mentoring, the programme will move to its second phase when about five to seven projects will be incubated for one to three years, starting from late December this year. Entries should be submitted to organisers from now to December.

A recent study, which surveyed 500 senior banking executives globally, has shown about 67% of surveyed banks believe they will lose market share within two years if they fail to digitally transform. The report illustrates the urgent need for banks to modernise their offerings, with 58% of global respondents predicting they will completely cease to exist in the next five to ten years unless they change their business models.

Vietnam is witnessing an increase in demand for online and mobile banking services from consumers, which is driving the digital transformation of banks. Online transactions in Vietnam for the first four months of this year jumped 66% compared with the same period last year, which has been accelerated enormously by the pandemic. There’s also been a huge increase in the use of e-wallets, payments via smartphones and QR codes, and high demand for ‘instant credit’ solutions such as buy-now-pay-later, particularly among those segments of the population that remain unbanked or underbanked. Vietnam’s consumers are demanding digital financial solutions, and the industry is rising to the challenge by using cutting-edge digital banking solutions, gaining attention around the world. This is an exciting time for Vietnam, but as this research report shows, those banks that are reluctant to take a digital leap risk becoming extinct.

In the Asia Pacific region, the report indicates that the region is lagging behind other regions on transformation, however, APAC banks are taking steps to ‘catch up’ to the rest of the world, with plans to increase investment in big data, machine learning, and blockchain at significantly higher rates than other regions. The report further noted that while the strong commitment from APAC banks to increase their investment in new technologies is positive, banks in the region also need to change the way they approach innovation and start proactively embracing new partnerships and collaborations.

The ‘ecosystem’ approach has been successful in other regions, and with half of APAC banks concerned that they lack key internal workforce skills necessary to transform, it will prove effective here too. The last 18 months have shown banks that it is important to have a robust and agile digital banking offering. With 53% of those surveyed admitting they’re at risk of missing digital transformation targets, it’s time the industry took note of the financial ‘evolvers’ that are leading the charge in this space. These are fintechs, challenger banks, and forward-thinking traditional players that are prioritising purpose-driven services and customer experience.

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