Saturday, 17 Nov 2018
SCIENCE & TECH

Vietnam strives to become Southeast Asia’s fintech center

Updated at Thursday, 08 Nov 2018, 17:29
The Hanoitimes - Recent statistics show that some 54% of Vietnam’s population use the Internet and this number is expected to increase sharply in the coming years.
According to an article posted on theaseanpost.com, Vietnam’s economy has impressive growth and the country is expected to become Southeast Asia’s fintech (financial technology) center.

The article said Vietnam’s economy grew 6.8% in 2017, 0.1% higher than the government’s initial target, making it one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Such rapid growth has resulted in increasing numbers of the middle class and internet users, propelling digital economic development.
 
Illustration photo
Illustrative photo
Recent statistics show that some 54% of Vietnam’s population use the internet and this number is expected to increase sharply in the coming years. The Vietnamese government has also launched various initiatives to strengthen the growth of the digital economy.

The article added that with the potential for a digital economy combined with bright economic prospects, Vietnam will soon become a regional center for fintech start-ups.

Within the country's start-up scene, the fintech sector has become the most attractive for investments, receiving US$129 million in investments in 2016, according to Vietnam Briefing.

In recent years, the fintech ecosystem in Vietnam has seen rapid progress. Fintech in Vietnam is also very diverse, as local start-ups focus on all fintech areas, ranging from peer-to-peer lending and credit scoring to mobile payments, among others.

Another reason why Vietnam has become a fertile land for start-up businesses is the Vietnamese government support for fintech, the article noted.

In 2016, the Vietnamese government established the National Agency for Technology, Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development (NATEC), under the Ministry of Science and Technology. NATEC aims to provide training, mentoring, business incubation and acceleration and financial aid to start-ups.

The Vietnamese government also has special tax schemes for local start-ups and several start-up accelerator programs in the country, for example, the Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator (VIISA) has invested US$6 million in start-up businesses to help build global firms in Vietnam, the article said.
 
It also mentioned that the support given to start-ups has led to many flourishing Vietnamese fintech firms, with investment from across the world are pouring into them.

Last year, the Korea Investment Partners (KIP) and Mirae Asset Venture Investment reportedly invested US$10 million in Vietnam's mobile application developer Appota.

Even fintech global corporations such as Alibaba are also exploring the popularity of fintech in Vietnam. Samsung Pay entered the market  following an agreement with the National Payment Corporation of Vietnam (NAPAS).

Soon after that, Alibaba signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NAPAS to allow Chinese tourists to use Alipay while traveling throughout Vietnam.

The article concluded that Vietnam has come a long way, evolving from an agricultural economy into an economy with an impressive growth for fintech development in the region.
Tuan Minh
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