Ha Noi, Viet Nam (May 29 – 30) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Government sponsor Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) coordinated with the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) to organize the Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV) and Fintech Vietnam Forum 2018 for the first time in Viet Nam.

FCV Final Pitch Day and Fintech Vietnam Forum are the two events under Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV) 2017-2018.

During the Final Pitch Day of FCV, 15 finalists presented solutions to address some challenges of financial inclusion in Viet Nam. These solutions in the 5 areas of fintech SBV places focus on includes e-payments, e-KYC, P2P Lending, Open APIs and Blockchain technology. Prior to the final round, 15 candidates joined and worked with Vietnamese commercial banks for six weeks to fine-tune their solutions. Additionally, candidates also received support from two Vietnamese startup programs: Vietnam Silicon Valley and VIISA.

The FCV board of judges included fintech experts from Viet Nam and the world; selecting the 6 best startups including teams from Viet Nam, People’s Republic of China, and the United States.

Fintech Vietnam Forum 2018 was attended by the Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam Le Minh Hung, Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh, Country Director of the Asian Development Bank Eric Sidgwick and ‎First Secretary of Australian Mission to ASEAN Katherine Pohl. The event drew the attention of more than 300 delegates, representatives of diplomatic missions, international organizations and enterprises, national and international experts and Vietnamese fintechs.

In his speech at the Forum, SBV Governor Le Minh Hung emphasized the importance of fintech to Viet Nam’s banking and financial system in the digital era. According to the Governor, partnerships between fintechs and banks can contribute to the goal of expanding financial inclusion, reducing poverty, promoting social equity and sustainable economic development.

Over the past years, the State Bank of Vietnam has been active in approaching issues and dialogues with businesses in the field of fintech; promptly removing bottlenecks and creating conditions for these units to enter the market. Since 2008, the State Bank of Vietnam has researched and allowed many companies that are not banks to provide payment services on a pilot basis to meet the development needs of the market. After establishing a relatively clear legal framework, SBV has issued official license to 27 payment service intermediaries.

Recognizing the importance of Fintech and its future development in Viet Nam, the Prime Minister approved Decision 844/QD-TTg, dated April 18, 2016, “Support for innovative national innovation ecosystems up to 2025.” The State Bank of Vietnam established the SBV Fintech Steering Committee in March 2017; providing solutions to improve the system and create favorable conditions for fintech businesses in Viet Nam.

Many banks have cooperated with fintech businesses to provide one or several utilities to enrich the products and services for customers. The trend of cooperation has become increasingly evident in recent years through this mutually beneficial relationship. The cooperation between banks and fintech helps maintain and develop a modern banking and financial system with innovative financial products and services to meet the increasing expectation of customers. The development of fintech and the cooperation between fintech and the bank is considered a prerequisite for improving access to financial services and banking for users in Viet Nam.

The Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam said the Fintech Steering Committee has completed the Evaluation Report on the Fintech Ecosystem in Viet Nam; addressing the 5 fintech verticals with a research focus. In addition, the SBV’s Fintech Steering Committee has established direct dialogue channels with fintech companies; creating a close link between state management and fintech companies to remove difficulties and problems in operation.

With the objective of promoting innovation in financial and banking services and developing financial inclusion in Viet Nam, FCV was organized over the past six months with the participation of 141 Fintech companies (including 45 Vietnamese companies and 96 foreign companies) from 27 countries on 5 continents. This is the result of the great effort of the SBV Fintech Steering Committee and MBI program, designed to focus on the 5 fintech verticals. The Governor of the SBV highly appreciated the idea of ​​organizing the competition as the Fintech Steering Committee of the State Bank of Vietnam will dive deeper into emerging technologies in the banking and finance sector. This opportunity allows companies to present their innovative ideas to managers, as well as banks and investors.

According to SBV Deputy Governor Nguyen Kim Anh, Chairman of the SBV Steering Committee on Fintech, the most important task SBV needs to carry out is continuing to study and submit feedback to the Prime Minister and building a legal framework. The regulatory sandbox framework allows fintech startups to test innovative products and services for a certain period of time monitored by the SBV. This experimental legal framework provides the environment for fintech companies to test new products under strict supervision of management agencies; minimizing risks for customers as well as parties using the service.

Mr. Dominic Mellor, Senior Investment Officer of ADB said, “The Asian Development Bank is always ready to support the State Bank of Vietnam on both objectives of encouraging the development of fintech and completing legal lobby. Viet Nam has special advantages especially in the information technology industry, from which to base the development of fintech towards the goal of financial inclusion.”

The forum brings together leading experts from around the world including representatives from regulatory authorities from many countries; sharing emerging trends in the field of financial technology. Breakthrough technology will be utilized in the financial and banking system in the coming decade and especially the State management measures applied to Fintech in some countries. This is a great opportunity to represent Viet Nam’s management agencies, banks and fintech businesses to gain more useful information and knowledge for their operations.

Fintech Challenge Vietnam and the Fintech Vietnam Forum demonstrate the positive reception of innovation in the financial sector, on the basis of Viet Nam’s technology to expand financial inclusion and improve the efficiency of financial services.

* The State Bank of Vietnam Steering Committee on Financial Technology (Steering Committee on Fintech) was established in March 2017 to enhance the financial ecosystem, including the legal framework for facilitating the development of fintech in Viet Nam.

Email: fintech@sbv.gov.vn; Website: www.sbv.gov.vn.

 

* Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV): FCV Final and Fintech Vietnam Forum are two events under the Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV) 2017-2018. Organizers of the program include the SBV, the Vietnam Banks Association, MBI (a funded program by the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government), and the Vietnam Fintech Club. FCV’s partners include seven commercial banks including BIDV, Vietcombank, VietinBank, Shinhan Bank, TP Bank, VIB and VPBank. FPT is a technical partner with the participation of two startup accelerators: Vietnam Silicon Valley and VIISA.

 

* The Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Government jointly launched MBI in 2015. MBI catalyzes private sector development in emerging Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) markets, focusing on Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, and Viet Nam. The program aims to improve the business-enabling environment in these four emerging ASEAN markets with particular focus on business advocacy, alternative finance, and innovation.

 

MBI supports four innovation accelerators: Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST), the Mekong AgriTech Challenge (MATCh), the SMART City Innovation Challenge, and the Fintech Challenge Vietnam (FCV). MBI is also the principal organizer of the Women’s Initiative for Startup and Entrepreneurship (WISE), a network of women-owned and women-led startups in the Mekong Region.

It is supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government.

On Facebook: MekongBusinessInitiative.

Contact
Huong Vu
Project coordinator
Phone (Vietnam) +84 (0) 91516 3388
huong@mekongbiz.org