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Dec 16, 2020 / 14:58

Race for digital banking transformation heats up

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed customers’ behavior and perception regarding digital banking services.

Việt Nam has seen a growing number of digital banking services, providing people with significant investment opportunities in digitisation from social media, banking to shopping or food delivery.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected the country's economy, but many banks have accelerated their digitisation to meet the demand of customers, who are looking for new digital banking options to deal with their financal affairs.

 Customers using digital banking services at BIDV. Photo: Thao Nguyen. 

Recently, Vietcombank, a major state-run bank, launched its digital banking app VCB Digibank, while another state-owned bank BIDV initiated its own digital transformation campaign via BIDV iBank app. 

VCB Digibank was developed based on the combination of internet banking and mobile banking platforms. For BIDV customers, the BIDV iBank allows enterprises to conduct banking transactions, including account and transaction inquiries, in a safe, accurate, and quick manner without visiting a physical bank branch.

In July, Viet Capital Bank started providing the bank account registration service via mobile banking.

In the current context, many banks consider digital banking a priority for future growth, which results in a fierce competition in the banking system.

For not lagging behind OCB with its digital bank app OCB OMNI, TPBank launched its own Live Bank, VPBank with Yolo, or Nam A Bank turning to artificial intelligence to ensure greater customers satisfaction in transaction processes.

A representative of the Payment Department under the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) informed many banks are now applying new technologies into the payment activities, including fingerprint verification, facial recognition, biometric authorization, QR Code, Tokenization, contactless payment, mPOS, among others.

“Banking app users can now deposit, wire money, booking services, buying tickets, or more in just one place,” he noted.

Changes are inevitable

CEO of TPBank Nguyen Hung said every year, the bank spends 25-30% of its budget for technologies. “It is essential for us to access core technologies, along with strategy to train highly qualified staffs to meet the demand of a digital banking era,” Mr. Hung said.

Vice General Director of BIDV Tran Long expected the BIDV iBank app to soon provide more functions for financial management which will be integrated with a customer’s Enterprise Resource Planning (EPR) system, such as host-to-host/firm banking/open API, automation and security enhancement, amongst others.

“In particular, BIDV will implement breakthrough solutions in applying new technologies such as e-KYC number authentication which allows customers to open accounts and conduct transactions without visiting a bank location, and screen scraping technology and blockchain application in trade finance,” Mr. Long added.

Experts said while a digitalization trend among banks not only response to the government’s call for non-cash payment, but also to meet growing demand for digitalized banking services amid the Industry 4.0.

“This is especially important as the Covid-19 pandemic has changed customers’ behavior and perception regarding digital banking services,” he added.

Recent survey conducted by global payment technology company VISA revealled that 79% of Vietnamese consumers are in favor of the government initiative focused on transforming the country into a cashless society.

The digital transformation process, therefore, is more important than ever for banks to ensure sustainable growth.

During this race, banks with a strong digital network and ecosystem could have a major advantage against others.