Driving growth through innovation

Vietnam insights: innovating for growth

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EY hosted an exclusive luncheon roundtable and invited more than a dozen leaders of Vietnam’s banking, finance and FinTech industry to partake in a discussion regarding developments in the sector and how competing interests can be aligned to drive future growth.

The discussion uncovered key takeaways including finding synergies between legacy financial institutions and the more disruptive FinTech start-up players as well as how these new developments in the financial services industry are facing the challenge of being ahead of a more conservative regulatory environment. Another key component addressed was ways in which technology could be used to streamline services and drive down the cost of service provision using automation and other technological advances.

Competition and Cooperation

Participants at the roundtable session noted that partnerships between FinTech players and the traditional finance industry has always been a struggle however they also agree that there is a tremendous scope for growth with the rapidly growing and relatively youthful population in play. The path forward was for institutions to support and form partnerships with FinTechs.

Meeting the Regulatory Challenge

The emergence of FinTechs has raised questions and posed challenges for regulators around the world. In Vietnam, the rapidly evolving nature of the sector has outpaced both banking regulators and legislators.

“A decree at the government level will take a while, in Vietnam, we need to be very patient.”

- Duong Nguyen, EY Lead Partner, Financial Services, Vietnam

Innovation, Automation and Changing Attitudes

FIs need to be adaptable and open-minded in ways of thinking to take advantage of new developments in the banking sector. In order to make Vietnam a cashless society in the next decade, there is a need to cooperate and pool capital to create digital acceptance and standardize it, as well as incentivize merchants to embrace digital.

Conclusion

Overall, the discussion at the roundtable reflected a positive outlook for the FinTech sector, and digital banking products in general, in Vietnam. Though the future may be bright, that light is still some way below the horizon as central bank authorities are supportive and taking steps to build a robust regulatory framework while trying to keep pace with the speed of innovation. In a sector moving so fast, it seem patience is the key.